10/08/2009, 00.00
VIETNAM
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Haiphong: six activists on trial for hanging pro-democracy posters

This week nine dissidents are on trial accused of anti-government propaganda. Yesterday Vu Hung, the Hanoi activist who accused the regime of "sucking the blood of citizens" was sentenced to three years in prison

Hanoi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The trial began today in Vietnam of six dissidents accused of hanging pro-democracy posters, distributing flyers and spreading their opinions on the Internet. They are part of a group of nine people indicted for anti-government propaganda, according to Article 88 of the Criminal Code. Yesterday one of the activists was sentenced to three years in prison for hanging a flyer in which he denounces a corruption in the country that "sucks the blood of the people."

The accused are: Nguyen Xuan Nghia, 60, writer and alleged group leader, Nguyen Van Tinh, 67 years, Kim Nhan Nguyen, 60, Nguyen Van Tuc, 45 years, Ngo Quynh, 25 years and Nguyen Manh Son, 66 , a former member of the Communist Party before being expelled.  

According to the prosecution, last year the dissidents hung posters in Haiphong, the port town of Hai Duong province, declaring there was "no democracy, freedom or human rights, because of the communist regime." The posters also pointed the finger at the ruling party in Vietnam, guilty of the high inflation rate and of "loosing the archipelago”, with probable reference to a territorial dispute with Beijing in the South China Sea.

The trials of the dissidents are being held behind closed doors, a small group of foreign journalists has been allowed to follow the proceedings via closed-circuit monitor, but the audio is of poor quality and often it is impossible to understand what is being said in the courtroom.  

Yesterday a Hanoi court sentenced to three years in jail Vu Van Hung (pictured) guilty of hanging posters in which he accused the government of "sucking the blood" of the population. He also called for democratic reforms, pluralism and a multi-party leadership. Reuters sources explain that the man belongs to the Block 8406, a group formed three years ago that is battling for democratic reforms in the country.

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