HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnamese human rights lawyer and activist Nguyen Van Dai was jailed for 15 years on Thursday, his wife said, along with five other activists who were given prison terms of 7-12 years.
Dai, 48, was charged in a Hanoi court with activities “aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration” at a tightly-guarded trial in the communist country.
“Im very disappointed with the trial and strongly protest it,” Dai’s wife Vu Minh Khanh said. “He is innocent and he pleaded innocent at the trial. He will continue to fight and will appeal the verdict”.
Despite sweeping reforms to its economy and showing openness to social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship and has zero tolerance for criticism.
U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink said last month that an intensifying crackdown on activists in Vietnam was “deeply troubling”.