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Vietnamese man gets 20 years in prison for 'overthrow’ attempt

By Hai Le   August 16, 2018 | 05:08 pm PT
Vietnamese man gets 20 years in prison for 'overthrow’ attempt
Le Dinh Luong, accused of carrying out activities to overthrow the government, listens to the verdict during his trial at a court in Nghe An province, Vietnam, August 16, 2018. Photo by Vietnam News Agency via Reuters
A provincial court Thursday found a man guilty of 'activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration.'

The court in the north central Nghe An Province sentenced Le Dinh Luong, 53, to 20 years in prison and five years of probation, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

The indictment said Luong was a member of Viet Tan, an organization Vietnam has classified as a terrorist group, active in Nghe An and the nearby Ha Tinh and Quang Binh Provinces.

He recruited many citizens into Viet Tan through Facebook and helped develop the organization on Vietnamese territory.

Luong actively followed Viet Tan's principles and worked to implement its plan to weaken and eventually overthrow the people's administration through violence, the court heard.

The indictment also said that on his Facebook page, Luong expressed his support for Viet Tan and followed, published and shared many articles promoting, praising the group.

Many of these articles distorted the situation in Vietnam, slandered the Communist Party of Vietnam as well as Party and State leaders, and sought to undermine national unity, it said.

The articles took advantage of political, social, economic and environmental issues in the country to distort history and cause confusion and distrust of the Party and the State's leadership among the people, the indictment said.

Nghe An police arrested Luong in July 2017.

Under Vietnam's Penal Code, "carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people's administration" is a crime punishable by 12-20 years in prison, life imprisonment or the death sentence for organizers, instigators and active participants, while accomplices could face 5-15 years in prison.

In a similar case, a Hanoi court in April sentenced six members of Brotherhood for Democracy, an organization accused of trying to overthrow the government, to 9-15 years in prison.

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