The Hà Nội People’s Court on April 5 sentenced Nguyễn Văn Đài to 15 years in jail for “trying to overthrow the people’s administration” under Clause 1, Article 79 of the 1999 Penal Code.— VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Hà Nội People’s Court on April 5 sentenced Nguyễn Văn Đài to 15 years in jail for “trying to overthrow the people’s administration” under Clause 1, Article 79 of the 1999 Penal Code.
Đài, born in 1969 and residing in Bách Khoa Ward of Hai Bà Trưng District, Hà Nội, will also be under house arrest for five years after he completes the prison term.
The other five defendants got jail terms ranging from 7-12 years for the same charge.
Phạm Văn Trội, born in 1972 and residing in Chương Dương Commune of Thường Tín District, Hà Nội, will spend seven years behind bars and one year under house arrest.
Nguyễn Trung Tôn, born in 1972 and residing in Quảng Xướng District, central Thanh Hóa Province and Trương Minh Đức, born in 1960 and residing in Vĩnh Thuận Town of Vĩnh Thuận District, Kiên Giang Province, both received jail sentences of 12 years and three-years of house arrest.
Nguyễn Bắc Truyển, born in 1968 and residing in Ward 4 of District 4, HCM City, got 11 years imprisonment and a three years of house arrest.
Meanwhile, Lê Thu Hà, born in 1982 and residing in Đông Hà City, central Quảng Trị Province, will serve nine years in prison and a surveillance period of two years.
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.
Activities aimed at overthrowing the People’s Government is a punishable offence under the Việt Nam’s Penal Code 1999. — VNS