An appeals court in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi on Wednesday upheld a 12-year prison sentence for dissident writer Tran Duc Thach in December, sending him back to prison to finish his term. incarcerated without hearing any arguments from his attorney.
Thach, 69 and founder of Vietnam’s online Brothers for Democracy, just learned on Monday that the trial will be held, lawyer Ha Huy Son told RFA on Tuesday.
Thach’s appeal trial lasted less than two hours and was held without controversy between Thach’s defense lawyer, Ha Huy Son and government prosecutors, Son told RFA Vietnam later the court.
“It seems that the court arranged its ruling ahead of time, as it was apparently made without considering what Thach had actually done,” he said.
Arrested on April 23, 2020, Thach was charged with “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the People’s Government” under Article 109 of the Vietnam Penal Code for Facebook posts exposing the government to corruption and violation. human right.
The Brotherhood for Democracy is not recognized by the Vietnamese government and many of its members have been jailed since its inception in 2013.
Speaking at the trial on Wednesday, a government prosecutor called Thach’s actions “dangerous to society”, saying they threatened national security and undermined public trust. with the political system of Vietnam.
Thach’s first trial was harmed due to a “serious breach of legal proceedings”, Thach’s defense team said in a closing statement, noting that Thach was tried for charges under the Code Criminal 2015, effective at the beginning of January 2018, after he was charged with an alleged offense.
Prosecutors on Wednesday also had full access to Thach’s case file, while defense lawyers were not allowed to have a copy of it, lawyer Ha Huy Son said.
Thach previously served a three-year prison term after being convicted in October 2009 for “conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”, and a return to prison is now being made. The context increased in prison sentences and new sentences following a series of arrests last year in preparation for a top-level Communist Party conference in January.
‘I’m not scared at all’
Separately, Hanoi police over the weekend summoned Trinh Ba Khiem – husband of detained land rights activist Dong Tam and father of their two sons – asking him to delete the live broadcasts. on Facebook they deem defamation the Communist Party. .
“They said the communist regime would arrest me and punish me severely if I continued to post videos on social media,” Khiem told RFA, adding that it is likely that he will be jailed now. the arrest of his wife and sons.
“My wife and children are already in jail, so I am not afraid at all, even if they imprison me for 20 years or if I die in prison,” he said.
During his meeting with the police, Khiem requested to see his son Trinh Ba Phuong, who was transferred from the detention center to a state mental hospital in early March for a “evaluation” after refusing to speak with investigative police – prisoner of conscience third. is known to have received psychiatric treatment.
A prominent land rights activist in Hanoi, Phuong was arrested on June 24, 2020 with his younger brother Trinh Ba Tu and mother Can Thi Theu, on charges of “creating, archiving and disseminating. variable information, documents, articles and publications against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. “
Three family members frankly posted on social media about the January 9, 2020 clash in Dong Tam commune, in which 3,000 police broke into the homes of protesters with barriers at a construction site. about 25 km south of the capital, killing one village elder.
Meanwhile, Can Thi Theu met her defense lawyer for the first time on Tuesday since her arrest in June, whose lawyer, Le Luan, wrote on her Facebook page, describing herself His master is “mentally strong”.
The Embroider’s daughter Trinh Thi Thao confirmed the meeting Wednesday, Speaking to RFA, adding that she had given Mrs. Le Luan a letter she wrote to her mother, along with photos of her four grandchildren. her mother.
“The lawyer said that we will see Trinh Ba Tu another day,” she said.
Can Thi Theu previously served a 20-month prison term after being convicted in 2016 for “disrupting public order” for participating in protests with others about their loss of land assigned by the government to private company without adequate compensation.
While all land was ultimately held by the state, confiscation of land became headlines as residents accused the government of pushing small landowners aside in favor of lucrative real estate projects. and pay too little compensation for farming families displaced by development.
RFA Vietnam Services Report. Translation by Châu Vũ. Written in English by Richard Finney.