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Director: Bai An Tran, Ph.D.

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Vietnam-UPDATE: Four human rights defenders convicted for alleged dissemination of propaganda against the state

On 24 May 2012, four Vietnamese human rights defenders active in the promotion of economic, social, and cultural rights in Vietnam received sentences for distributing pro-democracy leaflets.

mr tran huc duc june 13

Mr Dau Van Dong, Mr Tran Huc Duc, MrChu Manh Son and Mr Hoang Phongare affiliated with the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

Dau Van Dong was convicted to three and a half years of imprisonment with one year probation, Tran Huc Duc was convicted to three years and three months of imprisonment with one year probation, Chu Manh Son was sentenced to three years of imprisonment with one year probation, while Hoang Phong received a sentencing of two years probation.

The trial took place at 7am on 24 May in the People's Court of Nghe An province. The human rights defenders were represented by three lawyers who only recently had access to their clients, whom they believe were convicted for handing out pro-democracy leaflets. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the four men, who were arrested in August and December 2011, had been charged with disseminating propaganda against the state. Hundreds of protesters reportedly gathered outside the Court to hear the decision.

Front Line Defenders condemns the sentencing of the four defenders and calls on the authorities in Vietnam to immediately and unconditionally reverse the conviction, as it believes that they are being targeted solely as a result of their peaceful and legitimate human rights work.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities to guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Vietnam are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

For more information, please see Front Line Defenders' update dated 10 October 2011 (https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/16039) and original appeal dated 30 August 2011 (https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/16563).

You can find additional information on the situation for human rights Defenders in Vietnam.HERE

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