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Vietnam

Vietnam Jails Three Dissident Bloggers For Up To Twelve Years

BANGKOK POST (Thailand), AFP (France), BBC (UK)

Worldcrunch

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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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Saturate The East: Poland Revamps Its Military Strategy In Response To Russian Threat

Poland has a border with Russia and Belarus, so it is not just watching how the Ukraine war develops. Warsaw is rethinking its entire defense strategy.

Photo of a Polish soldier seen working at the construction of the fence along the border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

Wisztyniec, Poland. A Polish soldier seen working at the construction of the fence along the border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

Attila Husejnow / SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Stanislav Zhelikhovsky

KYIV — It will soon be exactly one year since the Russian Federation launched its large-scale invasion of Ukraine. During that time, neighboring Poland has been playing the role of a front-line country — NATO's eastern outpost.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Polish government agencies have been hard at work on what to do if the country is attacked. In particular, a new defense directive. After all, Poland’s Political and Strategic Defense Directive, which has been in effect since 2018, must be updated because it simply doesn't match today's reality.

Poland's Deputy Minister of National Defense, Wojciech Skurkiewicz, announced a change in defense doctrine with the defense forces set up on the Vistula River, located in northeastern Poland. Ukraine's experience shows the need to protect the country's entire territory as quickly as possible.

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