As Vietnam’s Communist Party regime continues to say nothing in response to its critics, a Hanoi appeal court today confirmed dissident lawyer and blogger Le Quoc Quan’s 30-month jail sentence and fine of 40,000 euros on a trumped-up charge of tax fraud.
Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the decision and reiterates its call for the blogger’s release.
“This sentence is designed to reinforce self-censorship and to deter all of Quan’s supporters and independent information providers from continuing their fight,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.
“We condemn the way the hearing was conducted. Hundreds of people who had come to support Quan were kept away from the courthouse and only his mother and wife were allowed to attend.
“We also sound the alarm about Quan’s state of health. He has been on hunger strike for the past 17 days in protest against the treatment he is receiving, and he briefly lost consciousness during today’s hearing. So we call for his immediate release on humanitarian grounds.