Vietnam jails 3 activists for comments critical of state

HANOI, Vietnam — A court in Hanoi handed down prison terms up to eight years to three activists on Wednesday after finding them guilty of posting video clips on social media critical of the communist government, their lawyer said.

Vu Quang Thuan, 51, was convicted on charges of spreading propaganda against the state and sentenced to eight years and five years of probation in a trial that lasted half a day Wednesday, lawyer Tran Thu Nam said.

Thuan's accomplices Nguyen Van Dien, 34, and Tran Hoang Phuc, 23, received 6 1/2 years and 6 years respectively on the same charges. The two will also serve four years of house arrest each after serving their sentences.

They were accused of posting 17 video clips prosecutors said vilified the country's leaders and the state. They have denied they committed a crime.

The lawyers told the court there was insufficient evidence to convict their clients, Nam said.

The defendants "are among a growing group of bloggers and activists who use the internet to advance human rights and democracy in Vietnam," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch in a statement Tuesday. "Arrest and imprisonment of dissenting voices will not stop the increasing number of Vietnamese from speaking up."

Last week, a court in southern province of An Giang convicted four members of the Hoa Hao Buddhist sect of spreading propaganda against the state by flying the flag of the defeated U.S-backed South Vietnam regime.

The four — a father and son and twin brothers — were sentenced to between six to 12 years in prison.

Vietnam's repression of human rights and democracy activists increased significantly last year with at least 24 people convicted for their writings and advocacy, Human Rights Watch said.

You may also interested in

Diphtheria deaths in Indonesia spark immunization...

Dec 11, 2017

Indonesia has begun a campaign to immunize 8 million children and teenagers against diphtheria...

22 rescued, Malaysia searches for 6 others from...

Jan 30, 2017

Malaysian authorities intensified search Monday for six people, including five Chinese tourists,...

Malaysia: N. Korean's family may be scared to...

Mar 8, 2017

Malaysia's prime minister says relatives of the half brother of North Korea's ruler may be too...

Myanmar refugees may be hurt most by Trump...

Mar 16, 2017

An Associated Press analysis suggests that the people hurt most by President Donald Trump's planned...

World's first self-driving taxis debut in...

Aug 25, 2016

The world's first self-driving taxis will be picking up passengers in Singapore starting Thursday

People also read these

The Latest: Malaysia says no evidence against N....

Mar 2, 2017

Malaysia's attorney general says a North Korean man will be released and deported because of lack...

Trump's planned reduction in refugees may hit...

Mar 16, 2017

An Associated Press analysis suggests that the people hurt most by President Donald Trump's planned...

On Penang island, it's all about art, eats and...

Nov 28, 2017

Penang in Malaysia is the rare tropical island where hitting the town beats lazing on the beach

World's first self-driving taxis debut in...

Aug 25, 2016

The world's first self-driving taxis will be picking up passengers in Singapore starting Thursday

Singapore PM's siblings say they hope to resolve...

Jul 6, 2017

The siblings of Singapore's prime minister have launched another public attack on their brother...

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH