Viet Nam News
NGHỆ AN — The People’s Court of the central province of Nghệ An on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s verdict, sentencing Hoàng Đức Bình to seven years in prison on the charge of “resisting on-duty officials” and another seven years for “abusing the rights to democracy and freedom to infringe on the interests of the State, and legitimate rights and interests of organisations and citizens.”
The sentence was made in line with points c and d, clause 2, Article 257; clause 2, Article 258 and Article 50 of the 2015 Penal Code. The jail term was counted from May 15, 2017 when Bình was put in temporary detention.
Bình, born in 1983, residing in Hưng Trung Commune, Hưng Nguyên District of the central province Nghệ An, joined a number of ‘politically reactionary’ organisations, associations and groups such as “NoU Saigon,” and “Phong trào Lao động Việt” (Việt Nam Workers’ Movement).
He was arrested to serve investigations into his delivery of leaflets in HCM City to call on people to join “Nghiệp đoàn độc lập” (independent trade union), and received admnistrative punishment for his violation of regulations on keeping and distributing illegal publications and printed materials that are not publications. However, he refused to pay the fine and fled back to Nghệ An.
After returning to Nghệ An, Bình regularly posted and shared information and documents that slander the administration and advocate pluralism and multi-party movements via his Facebook account. On February 6, 2018, the People’s Court of Diễn Châu District sentenced Bình to seven years in prison for “resisting on-duty officials” and another seven years for “abusing the rights to democracy and freedom to infringe on the interests of the State, and legitimate rights and interests of organisations and citizens.”
On February 12, 2018, Bình filed an appeal against the decision of the People’s Court of Diễn Châu District.
According to Diễn Châu District People’s Court, on the morning of February 14, 2017, Bình and another man named Nguyễn Nam Phong, along with 300 people departed from Song Ngọc parish in Quỳnh Lưu District to Kỳ Anh District of central province Hà Tĩnh on the pretext of lodging a complaint about Taiwanese Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Co. Ltd., which caused an environmental incident affecting four central provinces two years ago.
With banners, the crowd travelled by different means of vehicles, and intentionally caused traffic jams.
Bình requested Phong, the driver, to ignore the instruction of traffic policemen who were working to ensure traffic order. Bình was alleged to have incited Phòng to “resist on-duty officials.”
He also called on Facebook users to keep track of, publish and share the comments to defame the administration and the police force. His acts have seriously affected the prestige, honour and interests of Nghệ An police in particular and the people’s police force in general, stirring bad opinions both at home and abroad.
At the trial on February 6, 2018, Phong was also sentenced to two years in jail on the charge of “resisting on-duty officials.” — VNS