A Hanoi courtroom on Wednesday sentenced a distinguished Vietnamese political activist to 6 years in jail for conducting anti-state actions, his lawyer mentioned, in a case that has raised worldwide considerations over the communist nation’s therapy of dissidents.
Nguyen Lan Thang, 48, participated in environmental and anti-China protests, voiced assist for different jailed activists, and wrote blogs about Vietnam’s sociopolitical points, in accordance with his social media accounts.
The police mentioned final yr they arrested Thang on fees of “making, storing or distributing info, supplies, paperwork to oppose the state of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” with out offering additional particulars.
Thang may even be positioned underneath home arrest for 2 years after he serves his sentence, mentioned his lawyer Le Van Luan after the closed-door trial session on the Folks’s Court docket of Hanoi.
Calls to the courtroom went unanswered on Wednesday.
Authorities have convicted at the least 163 individuals since 2018 for exercising their rights to freedom of expression or affiliation underneath “imprecise or overbroad legal guidelines that criminalize protesting or criticizing the federal government,” in accordance with Human Rights Watch (HRW).
“Vietnam’s authorities systematically trample on human rights by punishing courageous bloggers like Nguyen Lan Thang for expressing their views concerning the authorities,” mentioned Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at HRW, which known as for Thang’s launch and for fees in opposition to him to be dropped.
A delegation of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee of Human Rights throughout a go to to Hanoi final week expressed its “nice concern on the worsening human rights state of affairs within the nation.”
“The delegation known as for speedy and unconditional launch of all of the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Vietnam, together with NGO leaders, journalists and environmental activists,” it mentioned in an announcement.