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Vietnamese rights advocate sentenced to 7 years in prison plus house arrest

Catholic World News - April 04, 2011

On April 4, in a speedy trial at the People's Court of Hanoi, prominent human-rights lawyer Cu Huy Ha Vu was sentenced to 7 years in prison following by an additional three years of house arrest.

Vu was tried for "spreading propaganda against the state, publishing articles and taking part in interviews with foreign media aimed at 'smearing the authority of the people's government, carrying out psychological war, asking to overthrow the regime and demanding a multiparty system." He had always insisted on his innocence.

Despite threats from local governments, a series of Masses and a candlelight vigil were held on weekends at various locations in Hanoi, Nam Dinh ,and Saigon to pray for the lawyer, a non-Catholic.?Two Catholic activists were arrested on the day of the trial, because authorities feared they would organize a public demonstration outside the courthouse.

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