Vietnam jails 3 bloggers for anti-state propaganda

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A Ho Chi Minh City court punished three bloggers with severe prison sentences for distributing anti-state propaganda on Monday, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported.

 

Nguyen Van Hai, 60, Ta Phong Tan, 44, and Phan Thanh Hai, 43, will be locked up for 12, 10 and 4 years, respectively, for "distributing propaganda to act against the State."

 

Hai, who blogs under the name Dieu Cay, will also be put under house arrest for five years after serving his prison sentence, while Tan and Hai will each spend three years under house arrest after they are allowed to leave prison.

 

According to the indictment, the trio posted articles on a banned website called "Free Journalists Club" and authored articles on their own blogs that contained "distorted information against the State."

All three are allegedly members of the club.

Between September 2007 and October 2010, the "Free Journalists Club" website published 421 articles, of which 94 were written by members, according to prosecutors.

The remaining articles were taken from websites and blogs of "reactionary organizations," according to the indictment.

 

The HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said 26 articles on the website contained "distorted information aiming to serve the plot of overthrowing the administration."

 

Dieu Cay and Hai also took part in a training course held by the outlawed Viet Tan Party in Thailand.

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