A courtroom in Vietnam has sentenced a 70-year-old Vietnamese-Australian man to 12 years in jail after discovering him responsible of “terrorism”, a lawyer who attended the trial informed Reuters.
The Ministry of Public Safety stated in a press release on its official information web site that Chau Van Kham was being tried for being a member of the US-based human rights group Viet Tan, which Vietnam regards as a “terrorist” physique.
It made no point out of the decision.
It stated Kham had helped raised funds for anti-state actions, joined anti-Vietnam protests in Australia and recruited members for Viet Tan.
Regardless of sweeping financial reform and growing openness to social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Celebration retains tight media censorship and doesn’t tolerate criticism from each inside and outdoors Vietnam.
The Individuals’s Court docket of Ho Chi Mih Metropolis additionally ordered Kham, a retired baker from NSW of Vietnamese origin, to be deported after serving the sentence, lawyer Nguyen Van Mieng stated.
“At the trial, Kham said he loves Vietnam and doesn’t have any intention to carry out terrorism activities in the country,” Mieng stated.
“The prosecutors stuck to the idea that he’s a member of Viet Tan to charge him with terrorism.”
“The jail terms for political prisoners are getting longer and longer,” added Mieng, who’s representing a co-defendant of Kham.
Kham entered Vietnam from Cambodia in January this 12 months when he gave US$400 to a person named Nguyen Van Vien to fund the operations of Viet Tan, in keeping with the police assertion.
“This is a very serious case of national security infringement led by Viet Tan’s key people,” it stated.
In a press release revealed final week, Viet Tan dismissed the case as a “sham trial”.
“Viet Tan will continue to support human rights defenders on the ground. Chau Van Kham entered Vietnam to gain first-hand insight into the human rights situation in the country,” the organisation’s chairman, Do Hoang Diem, stated within the assertion.
In accordance with Vietnamese police, Kham, a navy veteran of the now defunct US-backed state of South Vietnam, sought asylum in Malaysia after leaving Vietnam in 1975 earlier than transferring to Australia in 1983.