In 2007, Vinh set up the Ba Sam blog. He later launched two others — Dan Quyen, or Citizens’ Rights, in 2013, and Chep Su Viet, or Writing Vietnamese History, in early 2014. The blogs provided links to news on political, social, economic and cultural issues from state media as well as activists.
According to state media, the indictment said two dozen articles posted on Dan Quyen and Chep Su Viet had “untruthful and groundless content” and “distort the lines and policies” of the ruling Communist Party. It also said the articles “present a one-sided and pessimistic view, causing anxiety and worry, and affecting the people’s confidence” in the party and government.
The two defendants have denied the charges, saying they “have no relations” with the postings, according to their lawyer, Ha Huy Son.
The trial was originally scheduled for 19 January, but was postponed on the eve of the Communist Party’s congress, which elected Vietnam’s new leaders and charted the country’s course for the next five years.
International human rights groups and some Western governments, including the United States, have criticised Vietnam for jailing dissidents for peacefully expressing their views. Hanoi denies that, saying only those who break the law are put behind bars.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called for the release of both defendants. “The trial and continuing detention of a blogger and his assistant who have already spent almost two years in jail is farcical and a blight on the country’s human rights record,” Amnesty said in a statement.
Source: The Guardian