Vietnamese Activist's Prison Sentence Is Condemned

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 Amnesty International has condemned the eight-year prison sentence handed down to a Vietnamese pro-democracy activist and former Communist Party official for posting articles on the internet calling for democracy.

Vi Duc Hoi was convicted of "spreading anti-government propaganda" by a court in northern Lang Son province on Wednesday. He was also sentenced to five years of house arrest after his prison term.

Hoi, a member of the Bloc 8406 network of pro-democracy and human rights activists, had written extensively about corruption and injustice in Viet Nam .

He was arrested on 27 October 2010. Before his arrest public security officials had raided his home on 7 October.

"This verdict and sentence is a shocking testament to how the Vietnamese authorities show complete disregard for freedom of expression when it comes to people who peacefully challenge government policies," said Donna Guest, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Deputy Programme Director.

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