When will these control freaks-tin pot dictatorships-I know better than you creeps- finally realize that you cannot stop people from thinking and spreading their views ?
Come on Vietnam, join the free world ! Hey Anonymous, where are you ? Lou
Two men and one woman given prison sentences ranging from four to 12 years
- Monday 24 September 2012
Three Vietnamese citizen journalists who wrote about human rights abuses, corruption and foreign policy have been given jail sentences ranging from four to 12 years.
The cases against the two men and one woman were among the most high-profile undertaken by the country’s communist rulers as they step up their campaign against bloggers and other pro-democracy activists.
The three are founder members of the Free Journalists Club, a group of citizen journalists who posted their work on the internet. They were found guilty of spreading “propaganda against the state”.
The US, which is seeking closer economic ties with Vietnam but also pressing it on human rights, has criticised the sentences. “The government’s treatment of Dieu Cay appears to be inconsistent with Vietnam’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights relating to freedom of expression and due process,” it said in a statement.
Barack Obama had previously mentioned the case of one of the bloogers – Nguyen Van Hai, who wrote under the pen name Dieu Cay – in a speech that called for greater freedom for media around the world.
In late July, the mother of another defendant, Ta Phong Tan, self-immolated outside a government office to protest against the treatment of her daughter. The mother died of her injuries on the way to hospital. Tan, a former police officer, wrote a blog called Justice and Truth that criticised police abuse of power.
Nguyen Van Hai criticised the government for its handling of tensions with China over disputed islands in the South China Sea.
International rights groups had condemned the trial and called for the release of the defendants. “Vietnam’s arbitrary use of vaguely worded national security laws to imprison critics of the government means bloggers are bearing the brunt of this assault on freedom of expression,” Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement last week.