Vietnam jails dissident bloggers
Vietnam has jailed three bloggers accused of spreading anti-government propaganda, in a case criticised by human rights groups.
The high-profile but brief trial took place in Ho Chi Minh City under heavy security.
The trio were given jail sentences of between four and 12 years.
The government, which does not allow freedom of expression, has been under pressure from bloggers over corruption cases and human rights issues.
The three were accused of posting political articles on a banned website called Free Journalists’ Club, as well as articles critical of the government on their own blogs.
Nguyen Van Hai, who uses the pen name Dieu Cay, received the longest sentence of 12 years.
Former policewoman Ta Phong Tan, who also wrote a blog called Justice and Truth, was sent to jail for 10 years. In July, her mother died after setting herself on fire in front of a government office – it is not clear if the act was in protest at her daughter’s detention or connected to other disputes, the family say.
The third dissident writer, Phan Thanh Hai, was jailed for four years.
The case of Dieu Cay, who was a soldier before he became a dissident writer, was raised by US President Barack Obama earlier this year.
“I just feel frustrated by injustice, corruption, dictatorship which does not represent the state but some individuals,” Dieu Cay told the court on Monday.
“According to Vietnamese laws, citizens have the right to freedom of speech and it is in accordance with international treaties to which Vietnam is party,” he said before the audio feed was cut off, AFP news agency reports.
I can see the day very soon when the people will rise up against these turds.
To jail the bloggers at all, but for such long sentences shows just how scared and paranoid the government is.
Read my original post: When governments are afraid of blogs for more background on this case