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    » 07/20/2012, 00.00

    VIETNAM

    Three human rights activists jailed as "saboteurs"



    Sentences range from four to five years and a half. They were handed down because the three had exposed corruption and wrongdoings by Bac Giang provincial authorities at the expense of local farmers.

    Hanoi (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A court in northern Vietnam convicted three human rights activists as "saboteurs". Nguyen Kim Nhan, 63 (pictured), was sentenced to five and a half years in jail in Bac Giang province (northern Vietnam). Dinh Van Nhuong, 54, and Do Van Hoa, 46, were given a four year sentence each. Once they complete sentence, they will be placed under house arrest for a certain period.

    The three were charged under Article 88 of the Vietnamese criminal code, which punishes people "conducting propaganda" against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Speaking to foreign media was an aggravating factor.

    For Human Rights Watch, this article is one of many vaguely worded, loosely interpreted national security rules used to imprison peaceful political and religious dissidents.

    In fact, the three activists had led a peaceful campaign to expose corruption and wrongdoings committed by local authorities against farmers in Bac Giang province.

    Throughout Vietnam, the rising value of land is causing increasingly contentious disputes as local authorities take land from peasants to devote to industrial development or tourism.

    "Silencing farmers and their proponents will not solve these problems, especially as long as unjust land confiscations and corruption continue throughout Vietnam," said Phil Robertson, HRW deputy director for Asia.

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    See also

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    28/06/2013 VIETNAM
    Catholic lawyer in jail on false charges prays and fasts before his trial
    Hunger strike is increasingly becoming a tool of civic protest against prison conditions and illegal arrests. Le Quoc Quan goes to court on 9 July on 'tax evasion' charges. For activists, this is a ploy the authorities used to imprison him. Barred from his profession, he has continued the fight for rights on his blog.

    07/11/2012 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese Catholics and non-Catholics pray for civil rights and religious freedom
    In recent weeks government repression has increased, with arrests and detentions for "propaganda against the State". At least 2,500 people, even non-Catholics, take part in a special mass in the former Saigon "for peace and justice"; a united movement in defence of human dignity.

    05/04/2013 VIETNAM
    Peter Doan Van Vuon, anti-forced evictions hero, gets five years
    Despite the convictions, the family's punishment was not as bad as expected. The men in fact got two to five years in prison whilst the women were handed down suspended sentences. Although blaming them for the bad "impact on social order", the judge decided to avoid a verdict that could fuel social tensions.

    17/10/2008 VIETNAM
    Mayor of Hanoi calls for removal of Archbishop Kiet
    In a meeting with Western diplomats, Nguyen The Thao announces that there will be punishments for the priests and faithful involved in demonstrations for the restitution of the former apostolic delegation and the land of the parish of Thai Ha.



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