A court in Vietnam sentenced three freelance journalists in a one day trial to a total of 37 years in jail, finding them “guilty of spreading anti-state propaganda”, Reuters . International media rights organisation Reporters Without Borders called the decision “extreme” and said that it “demonstrated the shoddiness of Vietnamese justice”.
ð»ð³ Appalling! Three members of the Independent Journalists' Association of #Vietnam have just been sentenced to a total 37 years in jail! @RSF_inter firmly condemns this extreme decision, which has again demonstrated the shoddiness of Vietnamese justice.
The three journalists are Pham Chi Dung, Nguyen Tuong Thuy and Le Huu Minh Tuan. While Dung, who founded the Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam in 2014, has been sentenced to 15 years in jail, the remaining two have 11-year sentences each.
The journalists were convicted of “making, storing, spreading information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the state”, Reuters . They are also accused of defamation of the people’s administration and infringement of the interests of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
According to a by the Diplomat, the trio have been outspoken about corruption and the need for democratic reform.
Reuters quoted Amnesty International's deputy regional director, Emerlynne Gil, as saying: "Even by its own deeply repressive standards, the severity of the sentences show the depths being reached by Vietnam’s censors."
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