|Phạm Thị Đoan Trang at the appeal trial on Thurday in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The High-level People's Court in Hà Nội on Thursday upheld the nine-year jail sentence for Phạm Thị Đoan Trang.
Trang, 44 years old, from the capital city's Đống Đa District, was charged with “conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam” in accordance with Article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code.
She was arrested on October 6, 2020, and was sentenced to nine years in prison on December 14, 2021.
Trang plead not guilty at the first instance trial and filed an appeal.
According to the indictment and Thursday's court proceedings, in 2017 to 2018, Trang made, stored, and circulated documents and articles with content aimed at opposing the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam.
In addition, in her interviews with foreign media, she has distorted the State's policies and orientations, defamed the people’s administration and spread fabricated news, causing public concern.
Specifically, Trang possessed documents including "A Brief Report on Việt Nam's marine environmental disaster", "General assessment of the human rights situation in Việt Nam", "Report on the 2016 Law on Religion and Belief relating to the exercise of the right to freedom of religion and belief in Việt Nam".
The authorities determined that the documents contained fabricated contents that caused public concern. The documents also contained information that distorted the orientations and policies of the State.
At the appeal, Trang again refused to plead guilty. She also failed to make sincere declarations and had a hostile attitude.
Her lawyers proposed the court of appeal annul the first-instance judgment. On the basis of public questioning at the appellate session, testimonies, documents, and assessment results, the court determined that there was enough evidence to conclude the defendant's criminal acts.
The panel of judges determined that Trang's behaviour was dangerous to society, and she had deliberately committed the crime with the intention of undermining the socialist system and the State in the ideological, cultural and social domains, and undermined the strength of the people's administration.
The defendant is a person with a certain level of education, she understands and is fully aware of the consequences of the offence but still actively carried it out for a long time, so the judges have determined that she needs to be strictly punished, according to the court. — VNS