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<nettime> Vietnam: Cyber-dissident jailed for 12 years (rsf)
geert lovink on Sun, 5 Jan 2003 12:17:58 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Vietnam: Cyber-dissident jailed for 12 years (rsf)

Vietnam: Cyber-dissident jailed for 12 years

Reporters Without Borders today strongly condemned the
sentencing of cyber-dissident Nguyen Khac Toan to 12 years in
prison after a sham trial and called on justice minister Uong Chu
Luu to free him at once.

It said the prison term, handed down on 20 December by a
"people's court" in Hanoi and the heaviest ever imposed on a cyber-
dissident in Vietnam, confirmed the government's determination to
follow China's policy of broad repression of Internet users.

Toan was found guilty of spying for e-mailing material to allegedly
"reactionary" Vietnamese human rights organisations abroad.  His
rights to a fair trial were ignored and the hearing, which lasted only
a few hours, was held in secret, in violation of article 131 of the
national constitution and without even family members present.  He
was only allowed to see his lawyer twice, a few days before the trial,
but was not able to talk to him in private.

Toan, a former army officer, was arrested on 8 January last year in
a Hanoi cybercafé and has since been held in the B14 prison not far
from the city.

Reporters Without Borders notes that three other cyber-dissidents
are in prison in Vietnam.  Le Chi Quang, who is in poor health, was
sentenced to four years in jail on 8 November last for having
advocated political reforms via the Internet.  Dr Pham Hong Son
(arrested on 29 March last) and journalist Nguyen Vu Binh (arrested
on 25 September last) are in prison for having expressed opinions
online and have not yet been tried. Tran Khue, a literature teacher
who wrote a letter to then Chinese President Jiang Zemin which he
put on the Internet, has been under house arrest since 10 March
last year.

Vincent Brossel
Asia - Pacific Desk
Reporters Sans Frontières
5 rue Geoffroy Marie
75009 Paris
33 1 44 83 84 70
33 1 45 23 11 51 (fax)
asia {AT} rsf.org

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