Vietnam jails activist for 5 years over ‘anti-state’ acts

HANOI (Reuters) – A Vietnamese courtroom jailed a distinguished social commentator for 5 years on Wednesday for anti-state actions, his lawyer and state media mentioned, amongst dozens of activists that rights teams say are being persecuted for criticising the federal government.

Le Van Dung, 51, was convicted of conducting propaganda in opposition to the state of Vietnam, lawyer Ha Huy Son mentioned, in a trial that lasted just a few hours.

Regardless of sweeping financial reform and rising openness to social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Get together retains tight media censorship and tolerates little criticism.

Dung was accused of creating and importing 12 movies on the web to defame the administration and “offend the honour and status of the celebration and state leaders,” reported nationwide radio Voice of Vietnam.

Dung, who goes by “Le Dung Vova”, commonly broadcast stay to hundreds of followers on Fb and YouTube earlier than his arrest in June final 12 months.

“He did not plead responsible on the trial and can attraction the decision,” his lawyer mentioned.

Vietnam final week objected to america granting a prize for braveness to a dissident author who was jailed for 9 years final 12 months for anti-state propaganda.

Its international ministry described her award as “unobjective and unsuitable”.

Forward of Wednesday’s trial, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson mentioned Vietnam ought to drop the costs in opposition to Dung, who he mentioned was certainly one of greater than 60 folks being prosecuted for talking out.

“Vietnamese authorities persist in treating any type of criticism of the federal government as a grave menace to be prosecuted with lengthy jail phrases,” he mentioned.

“Worldwide donors and commerce companions of Vietnam ought to press Hanoi to take heed to its critics as a substitute of persecuting them.”

(Modifying by Martin Petty)

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