By Eurasia Review
Hanoi, Vietnam, September 22, 2016
Vietnamese authorities should quash the politically motivated convictions of two bloggers and release them from prison, Human Rights Watch said. On September 22, 2016, the Higher People’s Court of Hanoi will hear the appeal of prominent blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh and his colleague Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy who ran a website critical of the Vietnamese government.
Police arrested Nguyen Huu Vinh, also known as Ba Sam, and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy in May 2014 and charged them under article 258 of Vietnam’s penal code for “abusing the rights to freedom and democracy to infringe upon the interest of the state.” In March 2016, the People’s Court of Hanoi sentenced Nguyen Huu Vinh to five years in prison and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy to three years. Nguyen Huu Vinh’s wife, Le Thi Minh Ha, said that his family has not been allowed to see him for more than 11 months, despite multiple requests.
“Vietnamese authorities have decided it is a crime to provide independent information to the Vietnamese public,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The appeals court now has an important opportunity to uphold the right to free speech in Vietnam.
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