Vietnamese police arrest well-known dissident lawyer in government crackdown on dissent

Vietnamese police have detained a well-known dissident lawyer as part of a continuing government crackdown on opposition to its rule.

State-run Tuoi Tre newspaper reported that Le Quoc Quan was taken into police custody in Hanoi on Thursday for alleged tax evasion.

Neither authorities nor Quan's family were available for comment.

Quan is one of Vietnam's better-known dissidents and maintains an anti-government blog. In August, he needed hospital treatment after being beaten outside his home by men he suspects were state agents.

International human rights groups and Western governments have criticized Vietnam for jailing dissidents for peacefully expressing their views. Hanoi maintains that only lawbreakers are put behind bars.

In 2007, Quan was detained for three months on his return from a U.S. government-funded fellowship in Washington.