Stiff sentences for Vietnamese lay activists
October 27, 2010
Six Vietnamese Catholic activists were convicted and sentenced for “disturbing public order, disorderly conduct, and attacking state security officers” after a quick trial in which defendants were deprived of their rights to a lawyer.??
Two defendants received 12-month sentences, while the other four were sentenced to 9 months in prison for their role in clashes that took place in May when police assaulted a funeral procession. The Catholic activists were charged with inciting the disturbance. Protesting their innocence, the defendants said that police had charged a peaceful procession, after a series of disputes over the ownership of cemetery ground.
Hundreds of police in riot gear with guard dogs were deployed in front of the Da Nang courthouse to deter protesters who were engaged in a sit-in on the street outside the building.