Student, IT technician arrested for 'anti-state' propaganda

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Vietnamese police have arrested an IT technician and a student for allegedly distributing subversive propaganda.

The arrestees are Dinh Nguyen Kha, 24, a computer technician in Long An Province and Nguyen Phuong Uyen, 20, a student at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Food Industry.

At a joint press conference held by the police departments of Ho Chi Minh City and Long An Province on Saturday, Long An chief investigator colonel Nguyen Sau said the two were detained on October 19 and will remain in captivity for the duration of a four-month investigation into their alleged crimes.

If convicted they could face jail terms of between three and 12 years under the Penal Code.

According to Col. Sau, evidence found October 11 at Kha's house suggested he had distributed subversive documents.

Subsequent investigations found that Kha was connected to Uyen and they operated under the instructions of Nguyen Thien Thanh, who has migrated abroad and is still at large.

Sau said Thanh had made friends with Kha and Uyen on facebook in April and had made them members of an organization called Tuoi tre yeu nuoc (Patriotic Youth), pledging to take Kha to Thailand and then to the US.

In return, Thanh asked Kha to prepare to spread the flag of the former US-backed Saigon-based regime and subversive documents in August in Long An Province.

Kha followed his instructions and took photos to send to Thanh who later posted them on the Tuoi tre yeu nuoc website.

After that, Kha and Uyen continued to spread the documents and Kha managed to make explosives from chemicals he bought from HCMC's Kim Bien Market.

Kha successfully tested the explosives three times at an empty place in Long An's Thu Thua district and recorded video to send to Thanh.

Kha and Thanh admitted to the crimes, saying they have distributed nearly 40 files with documents opposing the Vietnamese government.

Sau said they found more than 723 documents the two had stored, more than 2.5 kilograms of chemicals and tools to make explosives.

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