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Vietnam Court Jails Music Teacher for 11 Years for Facebook Posts

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In January, Vietnam accused Facebook of violating the law by allowing users to post anti-government comments.

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On Friday a court in Vietnam jailed a music teacher for 11 years on Friday for a series of “anti-state” posts on Facebook. Nguyen Nang Tinh, 43, was accused of “making and spreading anti-state information and materials.”

Despite sweeping economic reform and increasing openness to social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship and does not tolerate criticism.

Nguyen’s one-day trial was held at the People’s Court in the northern-central province of Nghe An, his lawyers said.

“At the trial, Nguyen also said the accusation was not true as this Facebook account didn’t belong to him.”

“The prosecutors stuck to the idea that the Facebook user named Nguyen Nang Tinh and my client Nguyen Nang Tinh are the same person”, Reuters reported.

Mr. Nguyen who teaches music at a provincial college, was arrested in May of this year. He was accused of writing and sharing anti-state posts and videos on his Facebook account.

Anti-government posts to his Facebook

Late last month, a 54-year-old architect was jailed for 12 months over the accusations he uploaded anti-government posts to his Facebook account, police said in a separate statement on the department’s website.

Facebook is widely used in Vietnam. It serves as the main platform for both e-commerce and public communication. In January, Vietnam accused Facebook of violating the law by allowing users to post anti-government comments.

Facebook has also increased the amount of content it restricted access to in Vietnam by more than 500%.

Mr. Nguyen is the latest in a long line of dissidents targeted criticizing the Government on Facebook,” Human Rights Watch reports.

Mr. Nguyen would be placed under house arrest for five years after serving his jail term, his lawyer said.

News Source: Reuters