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Viet lawyer facing expulsion for defending farmers

A lawyer, who defended farmers jailed for involvement in a banned pro-democracy group and an unsanctioned Christian house church, stands to lose his license, DPA reports.

Published: July 20, 2011 09:14 AM GMT

Updated: July 20, 2011 09:38 AM GMT

Viet lawyer facing expulsion for defending farmers
'Rice fields near Ben Tre', on Flickr

One of Vietnam's few activist lawyers said Monday that he could lose his licence for defending seven farmers who were jailed for involvement with a banned pro-democracy group, Viet Tan, and an unsanctioned Christian house church, said a DPA report on Monsters and Critics.com. Huynh Van Dong, 32, said the Vietnamese Bar Association had threatened to expel him. He defended the seven farmers who were on trial in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre. Ben Tre People's Court called for Dong to be disbarred, saying he attempted to 'transform the trial into a public forum, degrade the credibility of the communist party and offend the government of Vietnam.' It also said that during the trial, the lawyer slammed his hand down on the table, which showed a 'disrespectful attitude towards the Hearing Council'. Dong denied the allegations. The lawyer had also previously been involved in an appeal in January of Catholic parishioners accused of causing a public disorder after they protested the confiscation of church properties in the town of Da Nang, the report adds. FULL STORYVietnam lawyer faces expulsion from bar after defending farmers (Monsters and Critics.com/DPA) PHOTO CREDITklabbo on FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0

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