After a six-hour trial Monday in Ho Chi Minh City, three bloggers who wrote about corruption in the government were sentenced to long prison terms for ‘spreading propaganda against the state.’
Nguyen Van Hai was sentenced to 12 years, Ta Phong Tan to 10 years, and Phan Thanh Hai to four years.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said: “These convictions are the latest in a series of moves by Vietnamese authorities to restrict freedom of expression. The Vietnamese government should release these three bloggers, all prisoners of conscience, and adhere to its international obligations immediately.”
Ta Phong Tan’s mother set herself on fire in July in a protest against the government and died from her injuries.
President Obama mentioned Ta’s case in a speech about press freedom earlier this year.