HCM CITY (VNS)— The HCM City People's Court yesterday sentenced three people to between four and 12 years in prison for carrying out "propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam."
The court sentenced the leader, 60-year-old Nguyen Van Hai, to 12 years in jail followed by a five-year confinement to his resident locality.
Two other defendants, Ta Phong Tan, 42, and Phan Thanh Hai, 43, were given 10 and four years in jail respectively. Both of them would be confined to their respective localities for three years after they served their sentence.
While Nguyen Van Hai and Phan Thanh Hai are residents of HCM City, Tan is a resident of southern Ben Tre Province.
The court said the defendants had engaged in anti-State activities for a long time, seriously affecting national security and the image of the country in global arena.
In 2007, it said, the defendants formed the Freelance Journalists Club for delivering stories and content against the nation. They built a blog for the club and published 421 stories between September 2007 to October 2010 distorting State policies.
Tan also set up the Truth and Justice blog while Phan Thanh Hai had one named Anhbasaigon.
The court said the stories have distorted the truth about the State and Party, created anxiety among citizens and supported schemes to overthrow the government.
Another defendant Le Xuan Lap, 54, a resident in neighbouring Dong Nai Province who helped the others deliver the stories, would be placed under close supervision in his locality, the court ordered. — VNS