10 Sentenced to Prison in Vietnam for Ties to US-Based 'Terrorist' Group

10 Vietnamese sentenced to 4-13 years in prison for alleged ties to US-based 'terrorist' group, highlighting Vietnam's crackdown on dissent and online activism.

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Ayesha Mumtaz
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10 Sentenced to Prison in Vietnam for Ties to US-Based 'Terrorist' Group

10 Sentenced to Prison in Vietnam for Ties to US-Based 'Terrorist' Group

On April 23, 2024, a court in Vietnam's Central Highlands province of Gia Lai sentenced 10 individuals to prison terms ranging from 4 to 13 years for their involvement with a US-based organization labeled as 'terrorist' by the Vietnamese government. The People's Court found the defendants guilty of using various online platforms to disseminate content aimed at undermining the country's stability and plotting to overthrow the government.

The harshest sentences of 13 years were handed down to Phan Thi Thao, 67, and Ta Van Trieu, 50. Three other defendants - Tran Thien, 52, Vu Dinh Lan, 51, and Huynh Thi Khanh Trang, 37 - received 12-year prison terms. Cao Thi Ngoc Diem, 55, and Tran Hue Chan Vuong, 53, were sentenced to 9 years, while Tran Thi Kim Loan, 62, and Tran Tho, 68, received 8-year sentences. The lightest sentence of 4 years was given to Cao Cuong, 52.

According to the court, the defendants were involved with the 'Interim National Government of Vietnam,' an organization based in the United States that the Vietnamese government considers a 'terrorist' group. The accused used websites, social media platforms, and messaging apps to spread the group's 'Constitution of the Third Republic of Vietnam,' call for a 'referendum,' and propagate content intended to destabilize the country and ultimately topple the government.

Why this matters: The case highlights the Vietnamese government's ongoing crackdown on dissent and its efforts to curb the influence of overseas groups it deems subversive. The lengthy prison sentences send a strong message about the consequences of challenging the state's authority and engaging with organizations labeled as 'terrorist' by the government.

The trial and sentencing of the 10 individuals underscore the Vietnamese government's determination to maintain political stability and suppress any perceived threats to its power. The defendants' alleged ties to the US-based 'Interim National Government of Vietnam' and their use of online platforms to spread the group's message were central to the charges brought against them. As Vietnam continues to navigate its political and social landscape, cases like this serve as a reminder of the state's firm stance against dissent and its willingness to impose severe punishments on those it considers a threat to national security.

Key Takeaways

  • 10 individuals sentenced 4-13 yrs in Vietnam for ties to 'terrorist' US-based group
  • Defendants used online platforms to undermine stability, plot govt overthrow
  • Harshest 13-yr sentences for 2 defendants, others received 8-12 yrs
  • Case highlights Vietnam's crackdown on dissent, suppression of perceived threats
  • Sentences send strong message about consequences of challenging state authority