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(VOA News) – Vietnam has jailed nine members of an ethnic/religious minority group, Montagnard Christians, to terms of five to 12 years for inciting protests in the Central Highlands earlier this year. The nine were arrested on April 10 while taking part in protests against land confiscation and religious persecution of minority people known as Montagnards. The Daklak People’s Court convicted the defendants of causing public disorder and sabotaging national unity. The ruling came after a two-day trial. Human rights groups say thousands of [Montagnards] protested against repression of their religious and land rights for two days in April. The groups say the Vietnamese government used force to stop the demonstrations. Dozens of Montagnards have since fled to Cambodia .