In a one-day trial, the journalists were sentenced to jail sentences of between 11 and 15 years.
A court in Vietnam sentenced three freelance journalists known for their government criticism to prison sentences ranging from 11 to 15 years after finding them guilty of spreading anti-state propaganda. Pham Chi Dung, Nguyen Tuong Thuy and Le Huu Minh Tuan were found guilty of making, storing and distributing data, materials and artifacts on Tuesday in a one-day trial in Ho Chi Minh City In 2014, Dung formed the Vietnam Independent Journalism Association, which the police said wanted a reform in the regime. The ruling Communist Party of Vietnam, under the leadership of 76-year-old Nguyen Phu Trong, has stepped up a crackdown on dissent ahead of its five-year congress, to be held later this month. Dung was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Thuy and Tuan were each sentenced to 11 years in prison. Radio Free Asia, based in Washington, said Thuy had written a commentary on the Vietnamese service of RFA and condemned the sentences. Dung was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Thuy and Tuan were each sentenced to 11 years in prison. In a statement, RFA President Stephen Yates said, “The harsh sentencing of Thuy and two other independent journalists is a blatant attack on fundamental freedoms and runs counter to the freedom of expression enshrined in Vietnam’s constitution,” Two other Vietnamese RFA workers are now serving prison terms in Vietnam: Truong Duy Nhat, a blogger who was sentenced last March to 10 years, and Nguyen Van Hoa, a videographer who was sentenced in November 2017 to seven years. “The U.S. State Department, which has developed close ties with Hanoi but remains concerned with its record of human rights, said it was disappointed by the recent sentences, calling them “hard” and “the latest in a worrying pattern.” “We call on the Vietnamese government to ensure that its acts comply with its constitution’s human rights provisions and its international obligations,” a spoken word, “We call on the Vietnamese government to ensure that its actions comply with its constitutional human rights provisions and its international obligations. The sentences underlined Hanoi’s contempt for the free press, especially before Congress, Amnesty International said. The harshness of the sentences reveals, even by their own deeply repressive standards, the depths to which Vietnam’s censors reach,”Even by their own deeply repressive standards, the harshness of the sentences shows the depths to which Vietnam’s censors reach,” “If the ruling party is so confident of its leadership, it should demonstrate its confidence by respecting civil and political rights,” said Asia Deputy Director Phil Robertson of the organization.