DONG NAI (VNS) — The People's Court in the southern Dong Nai province pronounced verdicts for three defendants facing charges of indulging in seditious activities yesterday.
The three were being tried for "abusing democratic freedom to infringe upon the interests of the State, the legitimate rights and interests of organisations and/or citizens" according to Article 258 of the Penal Code.
The accused are: Pham Minh Vu, 22, from central Quang Tri province; Do Nam Trung, 33, from northern Nam Dinh province; and Le Thi Phuong Anh, 30, from Ha Noi.
Vu was sentenced to 18 months in jail, while Trung was handed 14 months behind bars and Anh received a 12 month-sentence.
According to the provincial People's Procuracy, from 2012 to mid-May of 2014, the defendants allegedly abused their democratic rights of freedom of speech, freedom of gathering, the right of appeal, and the right to use the internet, to post articles including distorted information about the Party and State via their Facebook account and on the websites of Hoi yeu nuoc (patriotic association) and Hoi anh em dan chu (democratic brotherhood association).
The defendants also took advantage of China's illegal placement of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf to stimulate widespread social disorder among Vietnamese workers.
On May 15, 2014, they were arrested by local police while photographing and filming riots and disturbing public order at the provincial Amata industrial park. — VNS