Vietnamese Democracy Activist Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

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Jailed Vietnamese democracy activist Nguyen Trung Truc is shown in an undated photo.
Jailed Vietnamese democracy activist Nguyen Trung Truc is shown in an undated photo.
Photo courtesy of Nguyen Trung Truc

Vietnamese activist Nguyen Trung Truc, a member of the online Brotherhood for Democracy advocacy group, was sentenced by a court in northern Vietnam’s Quang Binh province on Wednesday to a 12-year prison term in a decision that drew harsh rebukes from human rights groups and the U.S. embassy in Hanoi.

Truc, 44, had been charged under Article 79 of Vietnam’s penal code with carrying out activities “aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration,” and his Aug. 4, 2017 arrest followed the round-up of other members of the group, most of whom were also handed long prison terms after trials widely condemned as unfair.

Speaking to RFA’s Vietnamese Service following Truc’s Sept. 12 trial, defense attorney Nguyen Van Mieng said that Truc had denied all the accusations made by state prosecutors against him, and that prosecutors had failed to present any evidence supporting their charges.

“Truc is innocent,” Mieng said. “Everything that he did was protected by the law, by our constitution, and by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

“Truc’s last words at his trial were that as a citizen of Vietnam, he has never worked to overthrow anyone, and that he will continue his struggle for democracy, human rights, and environmental protections until those goals are achieved in our country,” Mieng said.

In a Sept. 12 statement, the U.S. embassy in Hanoi slammed the court’s decision and voiced “deep concern” over Truc’s conviction on what the embassy called “vague charges of ‘attempting to overthrow the people’s administration.’”

“The trend of increased arrests and harsh sentences for peaceful activists in Vietnam is troubling,” the U.S. statement said, adding that at least 25 peaceful activists have been arrested so far in Vietnam in this year alone.

“The United States calls on Vietnam to release all prisoners of conscience immediately and to allow all individuals in Vietnam to express their views freely and assemble peacefully without fear of retribution.”

Meanwhile, rights group Amnesty International (AI) in a statement following Wednesday’s trial said that all Truc has been guilty of is his advocacy for democracy and human rights in Vietnam.

“He has been deliberately targeted simply because he has expressed views and taken up causes that the country’s authorities disapprove of,” AI Director of Global Operations Minar Pimple said in a Sept. 12 statement.

“Nguyen Trung Truc must be immediately and unconditionally released and Vietnam’s government must stop dealing with dissent by throwing its critics in jail,” Pimple said.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Viet Ha. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Comments (2)

Hate Communist

from ghet bac Ho

Mary 'Fangs', your brain is not only twisted but also filled with communist propaganda filth!
Let's make this crystal clear - the only people that thrive in VN are the traitors and their families in the communist party!
Meanwhile, everyone is living in shadow and poverty of the terrible regime that you goons called 'paradise'.
Would you; please; get a grip on reality!
Tell me this, about 1.5 month ago, why there are numerous and mass demonstrations in every major cities?
If the people are so 'happy' then why the demonstration? Do they all got paid?
Think about it!

Sep 14, 2018 10:17 AM

Mary Pham

from usa

Hundreds of thousands Vietnamese are social and political advocates and many are pushing for expanded democratic rights - within the legal frameworks... Less than 100 are in jail, including this guy because they are associated with overseas exiles and foreign groups to attempt at overthrow the government a la catchy coloring and/or flowery revolutions and/or American-made regime change (Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan...). With 100-year war behind, fast-growing economy, thriving society and competent governance... Smart and content Vietnamese can't stand and need no help from these paid collaborators, copycat trouble-makers: jails are safety net for them before the angry and frustrated crowds decide they have had enough!

Sep 13, 2018 03:55 PM





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