Dissident journalist jailed in Vietnam for 9 years for ‘anti-state’ acts

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A court in Vietnam jailed a journalist and prominent dissident for nine years on Tuesday for anti-state activities, her lawyers and state media said, in a case that attracted the attention of international human rights groups.

Pham Doan Trang, who published material widely on human rights and alleged police brutality in Vietnam, was convicted of “conducting propaganda against the state” by a Hanoi court, according to her legal team and state-controlled media.

Despite sweeping economic reform and increasing openness to social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship and tolerates little criticism.

Calls to the court seeking confirmation of the verdict went unanswered on Tuesday.

“It was such a long sentence, close to the maximum term for such activities,” said one of her lawyers, Nguyen Van Mieng, adding that Trang did not plead guilty at the trial and they would meet later to discuss a possible appeal.

Trang, 43, was detained hours after an annual U.S.-Vietnam human rights dialogue in October last year, an arrest the U.S. embassy said could impact freedom of expression.

Dang Dinh Manh, another member of her legal team, said the nine-year sentence was severe.

via Reuters

Main Photo via Human Rights Watch – Twitter

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