BANGKOK POST (Thailand), AFP (France), BBC (UK)
HO CHI MINH CITY - The Vietnamese communist party has jailed three bloggers Monday for disseminating anti-government propaganda.
The three bloggers belong to the independent media group Free Journalists Club, which sought to outline human rights violations in the southeast Asian country.
The renowned dissident blogger, Nguyen Van Hai, who is known by the alias Dieu Cay, was sentenced to 12 years in prison. He was previously sentenced to time in prison in 2008 for criticizing the human rights policies of both Vietnam and China.
The Bangkok Post reports that Dieu Cay began to give his closing remarks before the sound was cut off, stating: "I just feel frustrated by injustice, corruption, dictatorship which does not represent the state but some individuals.”
"According to Vietnamese laws, citizens have the right to freedom of speech and it is in accordance with international treaties to which Vietnam is party," he said before being silenced.
Ta Phong Tan, a former policewoman turned blogger on Vietnamese justice and corruption, was sentenced to 10 years. The BBC reports that the writer's mother died in July after self-immolating as a form of protest outside government offices.
Phan Thanh Hai, the only writer to plead guilty, was given a four-year sentence.
The trio will also be forced to live under house arrest for years following their release from prison after being charged with conducting propaganda against the one-party communist state, which bans all independent media.
Nguyen Phi Long, the president of the court in Ho Chi Minh City told reporters: "Their crimes were especially serious with clear intention against the state," reports AFP.
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