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Elderly man jailed for 'abusing democratic freedoms'

By Hoang Nam   July 21, 2022 | 07:21 am PT
Elderly man jailed for 'abusing democratic freedoms'
Le Tung Van (C), 90, receives five years in jail after being sentenced by the Duc Hoa District People's Court in Long An, July 21, 2022. Photo courtesy of Vietnam News Agency
A 90-year-old man in the Mekong Delta's Long An Province received five years in jail Thursday for negatively affecting the reputation of several individuals and organizations.

Le Tung Van was sentenced to five years in prison for "abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state, lawful rights and interests of organizations and/or citizens," the Duc Hoa District People's Court sentenced.

Five other accomplices also received jail sentences: Le Thanh Nhat Nguyen, 30, Le Thanh Hoan Nguyen, 31 and Le Thanh Duong, 27, all received four years in jail; Le Thanh Nhi Nguyen received 3.5 years in jail; and Cao Thi Cuc received three years in jail.

From 2019 to 2021, Van has instructed Hoan Nguyen and Nhat Nguyen to create YouTube accounts where they uploaded videos with false contents that negatively affected the public, insulting the reputation of organizations and individuals like police of Duc Hoa District, the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in Long An, and Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Tu, deputy rector of the Vietnam Buddhist University and deputy chair of the National Department of International Buddhist Affairs of Vietnam Buddhist Sangha.

Prosecutors said Van's behaviors have seriously violated local order and have been repeated multiple times.

Le Thanh Nhi Nguyen proclaimed his innocence, saying he "did not do anything" in the five videos as mentioned in his charge and did not harm the aforementioned individuals and organizations. Le Thanh Trung Duong said he didn't post the videos online, Cao Thi Cuc said it wasn't right to convict her while she "did not know about the Internet," and Le Tung Van said his actions "did not fall into any charge of Vietnamese law."

 
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