Vietnam jails student blogger with 'terrorist' connections for anti-government propaganda

By Staff reporters   October 25, 2017 | 07:24 pm PT
Vietnam jails student blogger with 'terrorist' connections for anti-government propaganda
Phan Kim Khanh in a photo provided by the police
The 24-year-old was convicted of spreading defamatory information with the help of a U.S.-based reactionary group.

A young Vietnamese man was jailed for six years by a court in the northern province of Thai Nguyen on Wednesday for “conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”.

Phan Kim Khanh, 24, was convicted of taking part in campaigns against the state since 2015, when he was a student of international relations at Thai Nguyen University, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The indictment said Khanh had established connections with several “reactionary” people overseas to set up social media accounts that carried stories defaming the Vietnamese government and Party leaders and distorting their policies and ideology.

Khanh was arrested in March this year when a government statement said he had posted “fabricated” information on social media with the help of the U.S.-based Viet Tan, an organization Hanoi has declared a terrorist group.

Under Vietnam’s Penal Code, anti-government propaganda is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in jail.

The country has sent several people to prison this year for attacking the government.

In July, a court in the northern province of Ha Nam sentenced blogger Tran Thi Nga, 40, to nine years in prison for posting anti-state propaganda videos on the internet.

The month before blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 38, received a 10-year sentence from a court in the central province of Khanh Hoa for publishing what authorities called distorted stories and videos about the Communist Party and the government on her Facebook page.

Vietnamese police have also made at least 17 arrests this year surrounding anti-government campaigns, Reuters reported. The latest happened on October 17 when a 41-year-old woman in the central province of Ha Tinh was detained.

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