A Vietnamese court on Monday sentenced three members of an exile group Hanoi calls a terrorist organization to a total of 19 years in jail for sharing information critical of the government.
According to the indictment, the three were charged as members of the U.S.-based Provisional Government of Vietnam with “popularizing” information to distort history, negating the role of the [Communist] Party and State, and smearing the country’s leaders.
Dang Toan Trung, 68, of Bac Lieu province was handed a seven-year prison term, while Tran Thi Anh Hoa, 57, of Da Nang and Dang Quang Khanh, 56, of Ho Chi Minh City were sentenced to six years each by the Lam Dong provincial People’s Court.
Dang Toan Trung was accused of joining the self-proclaimed government in exile with the aim of “spreading propaganda.” He was also accused of recruiting the other two defendants. Vietnam has considered it a terrorist group since 2018.
In recent years, Vietnamese authorities have prosecuted several cases related to the Provisional Government of Vietnam and imposed harsh sentences on those found to have ties to the group.
In April, police in Dong Nai province arrested 52-year-old Luong Thi Thu Hien for allegedly contacting the group via Facebook in early 2018 and receiving money to promote its leader Dao Minh Quan’s planned return to Vietnam to overthrow the country’s one-party Communist leadership. Her case is under investigation.
Later that month, a court in Binh Duong province sentenced 40-year old Truong Duong to more than a decade in prison for committing an act of terror after he set off a bomb at the provincial tax office last year, according to state media.
The Provisional Government of Vietnam is also accused of masterminding a petrol bomb attack that destroyed hundreds of motorbikes at a police warehouse in Dong Nai in April 2017 and an attempted attack on Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City later that same month.
Vietnam has issued international arrest warrants for Quan and six other members of the organization, all of whom are living either in the U.S. or Canada.
Repeated attempts by RFA’s Vietnamese Service to contact representatives of the Provisional Government of Vietnam have gone unanswered.
Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Huy Le. Written in English by Eugene Whong.