Vietnam jails blogger for anti-state propaganda

HANOI, Vietnam — A court in southern Vietnam has sentenced a doctor to four years in prison for writing and posting dozens of articles on social media that the court said tarnished the image of the country's leaders and instigated people to boycott local elections, state media reported Friday.

Ho Van Hai, 54, was convicted of spreading propaganda against the state at his one-day trial in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday. He was also sentenced to two years' probation, Thanh Nien newspaper reported.

He was accused of writing and posting three dozen articles on his blog and Facebook page that tarnished and slandered the country's leaders, distorted government policies and instigated people to boycott elections, it said.

Hai had blogged under the name BS Ho Hai or Doctor Ho Hai and was arrested in November 2016.

Despite economic reforms three decades ago that opened up the communist-ruled country to foreign investment and trade, making it one of fastest growing economies in the region, the one-party state maintains tight control on all aspects of life including the media and has zero tolerance for dissent.

Seven people have been convicted and given prison sentences for spreading propaganda against the state over the past two weeks while two dozen others were sentenced in December for terrorism and subversion.

International human rights groups and some Western governments have criticized Vietnam for punishing those who peacefully express their views. Hanoi maintains that only law breakers are punished.

You may also interested in

Indonesia mobilizes to combat health-damaging...

Feb 21, 2018

Four Indonesian provinces have declared emergencies in anticipation of worsening forest fires that...

Malaysia says airport safe, autopsy shows nerve...

Feb 26, 2017

Malaysia's health minister says autopsy results suggested a nerve agent caused "very serious...

The Latest: Chemist found VX on Vietnamese...

Oct 5, 2017

A chemist has told a Malaysian court he found traces of VX nerve agent and its precursors on the...

2 dead, 2,000 evacuated as storm strikes...

Nov 5, 2017

A northern Malaysian state has been paralyzed by a severe storm that led to two deaths and some...

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...

The Latest: VX-tainted samples examined in...

Oct 4, 2017

Prosecutors and defense lawyers examined samples where VX nerve agent was found in the death of the...

The Latest: Chemist found VX on Vietnamese...

Oct 5, 2017

A chemist has told a Malaysian court he found traces of VX nerve agent and its precursors on the...

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

Locally transmitted Zika virus infects 41 in...

Aug 28, 2016

Officials say more than 40 people have been infected locally by the Zika virus in Singapore, but...

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