Viet Nam: Acquit songwriters who face 20 years in jail
29.10.2012 (Amnesty International) Two Vietnamese songwriters who face up to 20 years in jail for writing songs criticizing their government should be released immediately and unconditionally, Amnesty International said today, ahead of their trial on Tuesday 30 October 2012 at Ho Chi Minh City’s People’s Court.
Vo Minh Tri, known as Viet Khang, 34, and Tran Vu Anh Binh, known as Hoang Nhat Thong, 37 have both been detained since late 2011. Both are accused of conducting anti-state propaganda under Article 88 of Viet Nam’s Criminal Code – an offence that carries a sentence of up to two decades.
“This is a ludicrous way to treat people just for writing songs. These men are prisoners of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression through their songs and non-violent activities, and should be freed,” said Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Viet Nam.
A further example came on 14 October 2012 when police arrested 20-year old Nguyen Phuong Uyen and with three other university students in Ho Chi Minh City. While the others were released later that day, Nguyen Phuong Uyen remains detained and has been transferred to Long An province’s detention center. She is reportedly accused of being involved in distributing leaflets that criticised China and the Vietnamese authorities.
“The two songwriters and young university student must be released immediately and unconditionally.