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Last Updated: Friday, 11 May 2007, 06:01 GMT 07:01 UK
Vietnam dissident lawyers jailed
Le Thi Cong Nhan in court in Hanoi on 11 May 2007
Ms Nhan and her co-defendant are the latest activists to stand trial
Two human rights lawyers have been jailed in Vietnam, in the latest court case against political activists.

Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan were sentenced to five years and four years respectively by the Hanoi People's Court.

They were found guilty of spreading propaganda intended to undermine Vietnam's Communist government.

A court in Ho Chi Minh City convicted three other activists on similar charges on Thursday.

Le Nguyen Sang was sentenced to five years in jail, Nguyen Bac Truyen to four years, and Huynh Nguyen Dao to three years.


Both Mr Dai and Ms Nhan were arrested on 6 March, accused of collaborating with overseas pro-democracy advocates and using the internet to spread their views.

As well as receiving jail terms by the Hanoi court, they were also ordered to serve several years' house arrest after the completion of their sentences.

Vo Van Kiet

Their trial is the latest in a series of court cases against members of the underground Bloc 8406 pro-democracy movement, which is named after the date it was launched, on 8 April last year.

This crackdown on political dissidents has been criticised by Western diplomats and international human rights groups.

An ex-prime minister, with links to the current leadership, recently told the BBC that there should be a dialogue with dissidents.

In a rare interview, Vo Van Kiet - a reformist who was prime minister from 1991 to 1997 - said the government should not avoid "talking to those who have a different view".

And he urged the authorities "not to execute administrative measures" in their dealings with dissidents.

In March, dissident Catholic priest Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly was jailed for eight years for working with overseas democracy activists.

Another dissident, Tran Quoc Hien, is scheduled to go on trial in Ho Chi Minh City next week.

Three activists jailed in Vietnam
10 May 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Vietnam priest jailed for dissent
30 Mar 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Vietnam detains rights lawyers
05 Feb 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Vietnam 'to axe detention decree'
31 Oct 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Vietnam
25 Jan 07 |  Country profiles


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