Reporters Without Borders deplores the five-year jail sentence that a Hanoi people's court passed on the blogger Le Thanh Tung at the end of a summary one-hour trial on 11 August, just three days after fellow blogger Dinh Dang Dinh was given a six-year sentence.
Both bloggers were convicted of anti-government propaganda under article 88 of the criminal code. Tung was given an additional four years of house arrest after completing the jail term. Of his relatives and friends, only his wife, Tran Thi An, was allowed to attend the trial.
A former military officer, Tung was arrested on 1 December 2011. He had been advocating democracy, political liberalism and a multiparty system in articles posted online since 2007. And, he had been a member of the Bloc 8406 opposition movement since its creation in 2006.
He was subjected to a public humiliation on 25 April 2008 in which he was brought before a crowd mustered by the authorities and insulted for various "crimes" including sending wreaths to the dissident Hoang Minh Chinh's February 2008 funeral on behalf of pro-democracy groups based abroad.
The trial of three other bloggers – Ta Phong Tan, Phan Thanh Hai (known by the blog name of Anhbasaigon) and Nguyen Van Hai (known by the blog name of Dieu Cay) – that was supposed to begin in Ho Chi Minh City on 7 August was postponed at the last moment. No date has so far been set.