Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Six defendants, including members and leader of the Hội anh em dân chủ (Brotherhood for Democracy) went on trial today in Hà Nội for alleged attempts at overthrowing the Government.
The defendants are Nguyễn Văn Đài (born, 1969, Hai Bà Trưng District, Hà Nội), Phạm Văn Trội (1972, Thường Tín District, Hà Nội), Nguyễn Trung Tôn (1972, Quảng Xương District, Thanh Hoá Province), Nguyễn Bắc Truyển (1968, District 4, HCM City), Trương Minh Đức (1960, Vĩnh Thuận District, Kiên Giang Province) and the youngest member, Lê Thu Hà (1982, Đông Hà City in the central province of Quảng Trị).
All six lawyers defending the legitimate rights and interests of the accused showed up at the Hà Nội People’s Court, where the hearing began this morning.
According to the indictment of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, from March 2013 to July 2017, four defendants—Nguyễn Văn Đài, Phạm Văn Trội, Nguyễn Trung Tôn and Nguyễn Bắc Truyển— conceived, established, built the charter and operated the Brotherhood for Democracy as an organisation.
Đài and his cohort managed to recruit defendants Đức and Hà, along with the others, to carry out multiple activities, including establishing a representative office and a website for the organisation, issuing a manifesto, formulating internal and external affairs policies as well as guidelines to recruit new members, and organising training programmes for members.
The defendants were accused of taking advantage of the struggle for democracy and human rights under the guise of a civil society organisation to mask their true intents and purposes, cooperate with outlawed organisations inside and outside of Việt Nam, seek funding and other support from overseas hostile forces and spread anti-State propaganda, all aimed at building their strengths, waiting for an opportune moment to openly confront the Government, subverting the political system in Việt Nam and replacing it with a “pluralistic multi-party system” and a "co-equal three branches of government", the indictment reads.
The Supreme People’s Procuracy determined Đài, second vice chairman of the Brotherhood for Democracy, to be the mastermind and directly involved in the building of the organisation’s manifesto, as well as discussions to chart the directions and growth model of the organisation. Đài was also the one who convinced Hà to join the organisation and personally trained and guided members on the operations of the organisation. He was the main contact to receive funding from overseas organisations and individuals, specifically US$71,726 and 9,161.31 euros, to sponsor the Brotherhood’s activities and was directly in charge of spreading anti-State propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam.
Trội was the founder and chairman of the organisation. He was in charge of the northern region’s affairs and building of the organisation’s manifesto, managing the budget, recruiting six members, directing them to protest against the National Assembly’s parliamentary election in May 2016 and spreading anti-State propaganda.
The trial is expected to last for two days.
Activities aimed at overthrowing the People’s Government is a punishable offence under the Việt Nam’s Penal Code 1999. — VNS