Friday, June 30, 2017

Vietnamese blogger jailed for 10 years for 'defaming' regime

NB: As a staunch supporter of the Vietnamese struggle against US imperialism, this comes as a terrible disappointment to me. Why can't communists in power tolerate criticism? Socialism that is inimical to democracy will dig its own grave. Democratic socialism is the need of the age - DS

A prominent Vietnamese blogger has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of distorting government policies and defaming the communist regime in Facebook posts and in interviews with foreign media, her lawyer said. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known as “Mother Mushroom”, was sentenced at the end of a one-day trial in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, her lawyer, Vo An Don, said.\

The conviction related to the content of 18 articles on her Facebook page and interviews with foreign news outlets such as Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, Don said. Quynh, 37, co-founded a network of bloggers and is very popular in Vietnam. She has written about human rights, civilian deaths in police custody, and the release of toxic chemicals by a Taiwanese-owned factory that killed thousands of fish in one of Vietnam’s worst environmental disasters.

Quynh, the single mother of two young children, maintained her innocence throughout the trial, her lawyer said. “Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh did not admit that she committed any crime, saying she has a right to freedom of expression,” Don said. Don said the sentence was “too harsh and unjust” and that Quynh plans to appeal against the verdict. Quynh’s sentencing drew a stern rebuke from the United States, which said it was “deeply concerned” about her conviction and those of other peaceful protesters over the past year… read more:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/29/vietnamese-blogger-jailed-for-10-years-for-defaming-regime