Vietnam jails prominent human rights lawyer and five other activists
A Hanoi court jailed prominent human rights lawyer and activist, Nguyen Van Dai, for 15 years on Thursday for activities “aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration.” Dai was sentenced along with five other activists who have been given prison sentences of seven to 12 years. “I’m very disappointed with the trial and strongly protest it,” Dai’s wife, Vu Minh Khanh, said. “He is innocent and he pleaded innocent at the trial. He will continue to fight and will appeal the verdict.” In March 2013, Dai and others formed the “Brotherhood for Democracy,” which conducted anti-government activities to “build multi-party democracy” in Vietnam, according to a copy of the official indictment against Dai seen by Reuters. In December 2015, having already served a previous four-year prison sentence, Nguyen Van Dai was arrested along with his assistant. SEE ALSO: Vietnam unleashes 10,000 cyber troopers to combat ‘wrong views’ “The only crime that these activists have committed is to campaign tirelessly for democracy and defend victims of human rights abuses,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch. “The Vietnamese government should thank them for their efforts to improve the country instead of arresting and putting them on trial.” Despite sweeping reforms to its economy and showing openness to social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship and has zero tolerance for criticism. US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United States was “deeply troubled” over the conviction of the six “peaceful activists,” adding that people had a “right to the fundamental freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly.” We are deeply troubled by the detention and sentencing of peaceful activists in #Vietnam. We call on the government to immediately release all prisoners of conscience and abide by its own constitution & laws allowing its citizens freedom of expression and... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Vietnam jails prominent human rights lawyer and five other activists, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: ASIAN CORRESPONDENT - Friday, 6 April, 2018
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