A rotten week for freedom of speech in Vietnam. Wrote about it for GlobalPost and hoping to do something else for UN Dispatch today.
Fourteen bloggers were convicted of “anti-state” crimes today in the central Vietnamese city of Vinh, after a swift two-day-trial that many human rights defenders have been swift to condemn.
Read more from GlobalPost: Vietnam: Girl suspended over Ho Chi Minh joke
Thirteen of the convicted were given jail sentences between three and 13 years, coupled with house-arrest sentences of varying lengths.Twelve of the convicted are men, and two are women, while the majority are affiliated with the Catholic church, according to Human Rights Watch sources.
“I pray and hope that soon the society of Vietnam will have truth and justice. I fully accept and will endure any and all suppression under this regime,” said 24-year-old Catholic activist Tran Minh Nhat in his final testimony on Wednesday, which was posted on the Thanh Niên Công Giáo blog.