A Vietnamese court sentenced a man to eight years in prison on Tuesday after finding him guilty of posting material to his Facebook account “opposing” Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party, Reuters reported.
Nguyen Quoc Duc Vuong was charged with “making, storing, spreading information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the state,” Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security said in a press release on Tuesday.
At a one-day trial in Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, Vuong, 29, was accused of “live streaming 110 hours of videos and writing 366 posts on his Facebook account to smear the image of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s founding leader” and “spreading anti-state propaganda,” the security ministry said.
Vuong will face an additional three years of house arrest after completion of his eight-year jail term, the ministry added.
Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party heavily censors social media, tolerating almost no government criticism from its citizens. In anticipation of a pivotal Communist Party congress in January 2021, the government has enforced a crackdown on media censorship, and arrests of political dissidents have “steadily increased” since late last year, according to the report.
On June 24, police arrested four members of a Vietnamese family for “making, hoarding, and disseminating propaganda” against the state, Agence France-Presse reported. The family had reportedly spread news online about a deadly land dispute they were engaged in with the Vietnamese military. According to the report, in a village near Hanoi in January, a violent clash broke out between local residents and government security forces after the Vietnamese military attempted to build an airport on disputed land.
Three police officers and one villager were killed in the conflict.