Pham Minh Hoang, a former maths professor in Ho Chi Minh City, was one of six nominees for the Netizen Prize, which was awarded last week. He did not win, but the authorities were still displeased.

The state-run Cong An Nhan Dan newspaper said it was hard to understand why a prize should be given to people who "incite terrorism, and overthrow the people's government, undermining national unity".

Hoang had "abused the name of university teachers," the paper said.

Hoang was arrested last August for "activities aimed at overthrowing the government" and being a member of a "terrorist organisation," based on his blog activities.

His wife has said he was arrested for speaking out against controversial bauxite mining projects by a Chinese company.

The Netizen Prize, given by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders and sponsored by internet search engine Google, goes to a blogger, online journalist or cyber-dissident who has helped to promote freedom of expression on the internet.

This year's prize was given to Tunisian blogger Riadh Guerfali, co-founder of website nawaat.org, on March 11th.

Deutsche Presse Agentur - March 18, 2011