Pham Doan Trang, who revealed materials broadly on human rights and alleged police brutality in Vietnam, was convicted of “conducting propaganda towards the state” by a Hanoi courtroom, in accordance with her authorized crew and state-controlled media.
Regardless of sweeping financial reform and rising openness to social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Celebration retains tight media censorship and tolerates little criticism.
Calls to the courtroom looking for affirmation of the decision went unanswered on Tuesday.
“It was such an extended sentence, near the utmost time period for such actions,” mentioned certainly one of her legal professionals, Nguyen Van Mieng, including that Trang didn’t plead responsible on the trial and they’d meet later to debate a potential attraction.
Trang, 43, was detained hours after an annual US-Vietnam human rights dialogue in October final 12 months, an arrest the US embassy mentioned might influence freedom of expression.
Dang Dinh Manh, one other member of her authorized crew, mentioned the nine-year sentence was extreme.
“The sentence is just too lengthy. The judges insisted that Trang’s actions had been harmful for society and for the administration,” Manh mentioned.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, known as the decision an unacceptable sentence for a courageous lady who solely spoke her thoughts.
“The imprisonment of such a dedicated reformer devoted to selling human rights, good governance and justice is a searing indictment of all the things that’s unsuitable with authoritarian Vietnam as we speak,” he mentioned.
“In a democratic society, Trang’s prolific concepts and writings can be admired and extolled somewhat than criminalized.”
In Could 2016, police detained and prevented Trang from attending a gathering with then-US President Barack Obama, who had invited her to affix him at an activists’ discussion board.
Two years later, she was detained after assembly with a European delegation that was getting ready for an annual EU-Vietnam human rights dialogue.
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