Viet Nam News
AN GIANG — The An Giang provincial People’s Court on January 23 sent four men to jail for “conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam” under Clause 2 of Article 88 of the 2009 Penal Code.
Vương Văn Thả, 49, from Vĩnh Hậu Commune, An Phú District of the southern province of An Giang, received a 12-year jail term and his 28-year-old son Vương Thanh Thuận got seven years imprisonment.
A jail sentence of six years was given to Nguyễn Nhật Trường and Nguyễn Văn Thượng, 33-year-old twins from Tân Hưng ward of Thốt Nốt District in the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ.
All will be put under house arrest for three years after they finish their term.
According to the indictment of the An Giang People’s Procuracy, in 1988, Thả, a follower of the Hoà Hảo Buddhist sect, regularly held gatherings to illegally evangelise.
In 2013, he was sentenced to three years in prison for “abusing the rights to freedom and democracy to violate legitimate rights and interests of organisations and citizens.”
After finishing his prison term in October 2015, Thả continued to utilise freedom of religion and belief to undermine national unity and violate laws in his locality.
On January 29, 30 and 31 and March 5, 6 and 23, 2017, he used amplifiers to disseminate fabricated and distorted information to slander the authorities and the Communist Party of Viet Nam in his private house in Vĩnh Linh hamlet of Vĩnh Hậu Commne.
Thả instructed his son, Thuận, to record his anti-State activities and post them on Facebook under the usernames of “Tha Vuong Van,” “Vuong Van Tha,” and “Bao tu Dang con san” with the intention of defaming Party leaders.
He also incited people to hang yellow flags with three red stripes, the flag of the former Sài Gòn regime, and take to the streets, causing disorder at headquarters of State agencies, while gathering signatures in support of the “Interim Việt Nam Government” led by Đào Minh Quân, a Vietnamese national residing in the US.
To avoid competent forces, Thả prohibited his family members from going out of their house.
On April 16, 2017, in response to Thả’s call, Thượng and Trường came to Thả’s house, where they were instructed, together with Thả’s wife and daughter, to make the flags of the former Sài Gòn regime.
On April 30, 2017, marking the ‘fall of Sài Gòn,’ Tha displayed the yellow flag on his roof, and disseminated propaganda to defame authorities and oppose the State.
He, together with Trường, Thuận and Thượng prevented competent agencies from lowering the flag.
The four men were arrested on May 18, 2017. — VNS