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Court convicts activist for 'propaganda'

Sentences of two others charged with anti-government propaganda upheld

Asia Desk, Bangkok

June 8, 2012

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Another man was sentenced to prison for anti-government activities, while the earlier convictions of two others were upheld in recent days. Phan Ngoc Tuan, 53,was sentenced Wednesday to five years in jail and three years under house arrest by the People’s Court of Ninh Thuan province. The rights activist  was accused of giving out leaflets in Phan Rang-Thap Cham City, Ha Noi, and Ho Chi Minh City, and of spreading documents against the communist government and its leaders on the internet. He also allegedly accused the government of repressing local religions and segregating people from the former US-backed South Vietnam and their children. Tuan, who was arrested on August 10, 2011, was also accused of working with religious freedom activists in Australia, the US and Vietnam. Last week, the People’s Court of Nghe An province upheld convictions against Ho Thi Bich Khuong, a rights activist, and a pastor, Nguyen Trung Ton. Khuong, 45, and Ton, 40, were also accused of distributing anti-government propaganda. Khuong, a Nghe An native, was sentenced to five years in prison and three years under house arrest, while Ton, from neighboring Thanh Hoa province, was sentenced to two years in jail and two years under house arrest. Human rights organizations have criticized Vietnam for using charges of distributing anti-government propaganda to quell dissidents. Related reports Vietnam detains Catholic activists Ailing Vietnam priest sent back to prison

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