Pro-Democracy activist Tran Van Bang sentenced to eight years in prison
Southeast Asia and Pacific and Human Rights Researchers
Global Human Rights Defence
Vietnamese war veteran and pro-democracy campaigner Tran Van Bang has been sentenced to eight years in prison, followed by three years of probation after his release (Human Rights Watch, 2023). He had previously been arrested on 1 March 2022 for criticizing the government and has now been charged under Article 117 of the Vietnamese penal code (Human Rights Watch, 2023). The article, which prohibits the dissemination of propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, has become a proven tool to silence political dissidents.
In Tran Bang’s case, the democracy activist was charged mainly for 31 Facebook posts that were allegedly anti-State propaganda (Radio Free Asia, 2023). He is one of the latest convictions in Hanoi’s continuing campaign to silence bloggers and activists, which has seen at least 60 others sentenced to prison under Article 117 (Radio Free Asia, 2023).
Sources and further reading:
Human Rights Watch (May 11, 2023). Vietnam: Free Democracy Campaigner Tran Van Bang. Retrieved on May 15, 2023, from https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/05/11/vietnam-free-democracy-campaigner-tran-van-bang
Radio Free Asia (May 12, 2023). Vietnamese activist sentenced to 9 years in jail for Facebook posts. Retrieved on May 15, 2023, from https://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/bang-05122023143730.html