Vietnamese noodle vendor arrested for posting video imitating Salt Bae

Mimicking the mannerisms of Nusret Gökçe, known as “Salt Bae”, would get a noodle vendor in Vietnam arrested.

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

A Vietnamese noodle vendor who made a viral video parodying Salt Bae has been arrested on charges of anti-state propaganda.

The content posted by the 38-year-old noodle vendor was deemed as material distorting the guidelines and policies of the ruling party in Vietnam. The Communist Party often cracks down on critics of its rulers.

Bui Tuan Lam has a meat noodle stall in Da Nang city and in 2021 he was cited by the police for recording himself and sharing a video on social media in which he imitates the gestures of the famous Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe or “Salt Bae”. .

The video in which the noodle seller who calls himself “Onion Leaf Bae” was recorded days after Vietnam’s public security minister was caught on camera being hand-fed a gold-plated steak by Salt Bae at the chef’s expensive restaurant in London.

A gold-plated steak from Salt Bae restaurants can fetch up to $1,700. The video in which the official appears eating in the expensive London restaurant of Gökçe caused controversy as it would challenge the “egalitarian” image that the Communist Party has shown in Vietnam.

Many network users pointed out that the dish cost more than the minister’s monthly salary of between $600 and $800. Which raised questions on social media about how Vietnamese government employees with modest official salaries can afford such luxuries. Vietnam is a country where a large part of the population lives in poverty.

Bui Tuan Lam’s wife told the BBC’s Vietnamese service that Lam was “kidnapped” by police on Wednesday afternoon. “She said that she had been mentally preparing for the arrest ever since the police called her husband last November.”

The Vietnamese noodle seller was arrested Wednesday under Article 117, a broad clause that criminalizes the production or dissemination of information “opposed” to the state.

According to Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson, he noted that Lam has been associated with defending democracy in Vietnam for the past decade and has not been allowed to leave the country since 2014. The New York-based organization he said police should “immediately release” Lam.

Robertson noted that Vietnamese authorities regularly define any comments they don’t like as “anti-state propaganda.” Robertson added that the “mockery is a legitimate form of expression that should not be considered a crime.”

It may interest you:
–Salt Bae is criticized by PETA for all the meat it serves in its restaurants
–Salt Bae restaurant is looking for a sushi chef paying the same hourly rate as a serving of broccoli from their menu
–Two Latinos sue “Salt Bae” restaurant in New York for discriminating against employees based on their nationality

Vietnamese noodle vendor arrested for posting video imitating Salt Bae