Man seized for allegedly attempting to overthrow government

TN News

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The Ministry of Public Security's investigators announced the arrest of a university lecturer on Wednesday. Pham Minh Hoang, 55, stands accused of attempting to overthrow Vietnam's government.

Hoang, who holds dual citizenship in Vietnam and France, has been in custody since last month.

He allegedly joined a subversive terrorist organization Viet Tan (Vietnam Reform) in 1998, while studying in France.

Two years later he came back to Vietnam to work at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology to conduct schemes to bring down the government, police said at a press conference that day.

Hoang was accused of posting 29 subversive articles on the Internet between July, 2002 and May, 2010 under the penname Phan Kien Quoc.

The university lecturer also taught two soft skills courses in HCMC in which he allegedly encouraged young people to join his organization, according to police.

In September, 2009 Hoang and his wife, Le Thi Kieu Oanh, attended a three-day training program held by Viet Tan in Malaysia, where they were taught about how to secure information on the Internet and "non-violent methods" to rebel against the government, they said.

The accusations showed that Hoang was arrested in accordance with Vietnamese laws, Nguyen Xuan Mung, deputy chief of the ministry's inspectorate, said at the conference.

The Viet Tan Party was set up in 1982 in Thailand by Hoang Co Minh, a former senior colonel in the US-backed government in South Vietnam, inspectors said.

Between 1982 and 1989 it sent armed groups to Vietnam to conduct terrorist activities. All of their plots were foiled and the conspirators arrested by Vietnamese agencies.

Since 2006 the organization has shifted focus toward "non-violent" uprisings, according to investigators.

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