An appeals court today upheld a prison sentence for Vietnam’s leading human rights lawyer as well as an “unusually harsh” sentence for an associate charged with promoting democracy.
The United States Congress may have designated May 11 as Vietnam Human Rights Day but that clearly cuts little ice with the country’s communist authorities.
U.S.-trained human rights attorney Le Cong Dinh – recently listed as one of the world’s leading dissidents – had his 5-year sentence affirmed while the judges also maintained Tam said the court upheld the 16-year sentence against Internet entrepreneur and democracy advocate Tran Huynh Duy Thuc.
Earlier this year, Communist party Chairman Nong Duc Manh said the regime was determined to oppose “hostile forces by preventing them from profiting from…democracy, human rights, multi-partyism and pluralism to sabotage the Vietnamese revolution.”
The cases are the latest in series of prosecutions of democracy advocates which confirm that Vietnam is experiencing “a sharp reversal of what has been a move toward more-open markets and a more-open society.”