ICC Note: We are grateful for the release of two of the Vietnamese activists, but note that there are two others still in jail. The charge against all four of these activists with ties to local religious groups was attempting to overthrow the government, the usual charge brought against anyone who disagrees with ruling communist party leaders.
By KaLynh Ngo
08/03/2015 Vietnam (Radio Free Asia)
Vietnamese authorities on Monday released two activists who finished serving jail terms they had received under a vague and ill-defined statute used by authorities to routinely crack down on those who are critical of the one-party communist state.
Paulus Le Van Son, a prominent Catholic blogger, and Nguyen Van Oai, a Protestant social rights activist, had each been sentenced to four years in prison and four years of probation for attempting to overthrow the government or joining organizations with the “intent” to do so under Article 79 of Vietnam’s Penal Code.
They were arrested in August 2011 as part of a crackdown on activists with ties to religions organizations, anti-China protests, environmental advocacy and citizen journalism, and had been held at a detention center in Hanoi.
The pair had been detained without warrants and had limited access to legal representation.