Vietnamese Cyber-dissident Court Appeal Set


2003-08-20
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Read the indictment against Son

Vietnamese authorities will hear legal appeals next week from dissident Dr. Pham Hong Son, convicted of espionage two months ago, RFA�s Vietnamese service reports.

Sources who spoke condition of anonymity said the Hanoi Supreme Court would hear Dr. Son�s appeal on Aug. 26. He was handed a 13-year jail sentence in June for translating and posting to the Web the article "What is Democracy?"--which he had downloaded from the U.S. Embassy Web site.

He was also sentenced to three years� house arrest.

In an interview with RFA�s Vietnamese service in June, Son�s wife, Vu Thuy Ha, said her husband was permitted to answer only "yes" or "no" in response to questioning at trial, which would violate the Vietnam Code of Criminal Procedure. Ha was also barred from the courtroom while her husband was present for his trial.

Son, 35, is a businessman and medical doctor. He graduated from Hanoi Medical University in 1992 and practiced as a doctor for a short time. He then received his master's degree in business administration and most recently worked as a manager for a pharmaceutical company.

The United States has protested his sentence on grounds that it "clearly violates international standards for the protection of human rights including freedom of expression."

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