Olduvaiblog: Musings on the coming collapse

Home » Asia » Vietnam jails blogger for critical posts – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

Vietnam jails blogger for critical posts – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English


Vietnam jails blogger for critical posts – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English.

A Hanoi court finds dissident Pham Viet Dao guilty of “abusing democratic freedoms” in the latest crackdown on dissent.

Last updated: 19 Mar 2014 10:12

Human Rights Watch said the number of political trials in Vietnam has increased every year since 2010 [Reuters]
A Vietnamese court sentenced a dissident blogger to 15 months in prison for posting online criticism of the government, the latest case in an intensifying crackdown against dissent in the one-party communist country.

At a two-hour trial at the Hanoi People’s Court, Judge Ngo Tu Hoc said on Wednesday that Pham Viet Dao was guilty of “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe the interests of the state” by posting dozens of articles that “distorted, vilified and smeared the senior leaders”.

Dao, 61, confessed to the court and apologised for the “erroneous” details in some of his posts, but said he did not do that on purpose.

“I don’t think that my articles have had bad impact on society,” said Dao, who refused a lawyer and defended himself at the trial.

‘Sincere confession’

“The defendant’s acts are dangerous to the society, causing anxiety among the public and reducing people’s trust in the leadership of the (Communist) Party and the state,” the judge said.

Hoc said the court handed down a light sentence because of Dao’s “sincere confession,” clean criminal record and contribution to the country.

Several Western diplomats and foreign reporters followed the court proceedings via a closed circuit television screen in a separate room.

Dao, a former Cultural Ministry official and member of the Vietnam Writers Association, was arrested at his Hanoi home last June. His membership to the Communist Party was suspended after his arrest.

Earlier this month, a court in the central city of Danang sentenced a well-known blogger, Truong Duy Nhat, to two years in jail on the same charges.

New York-based Human Rights Watch issued a statement on Tuesday calling for Dao’s “immediate and unconditional” release.

“The Vietnamese authorities are shaming themselves before domestic and international public opinion by staging yet another political trial of a peaceful critic,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch says that the number of people sentenced in political trials in Vietnam has increased every year since 2010, and that at least 63 people were imprisoned for peaceful political expression last year.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 314 other followers

  • 56,143
March 2014
S M T W T F S
« Feb   May »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Archives