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International watchdog Reporters Without Borders says at least five journalists and 19 bloggers are now being held on various charges in Vietnam, part of a gathering government effort to stifle criticism over the last two years even as the country presses ahead with opening its economy to foreign investment. The government labels democracy and free speech activists as terrorists.

Journalists working for foreign news organization are allowed to live in the country but must ask permission to report outside the capital. That is routinely denied if the subject of the story is seen as sensitive or damaging to Vietnam.