U.N. Urges Vietnam to Release Blogger Jailed for Nine Years

GENEVA — The United Nations called on Vietnam on Friday to release a prominent dissident, voicing deep concerns about her one-day trial this week and sentencing to nine years for anti-state propaganda in what it called an “intensifying crackdown”.

A court in Vietnam jailed blogger Tran Thi Nga for nine years and gave her five years probation for spreading propaganda against the state, her lawyer said on Tuesday, in what appeared to be the Communist-ruled country’s latest crackdown on critics.

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“We have serious concerns about the severity of the sentence and the conduct of the trial, which does not appear to have met due process standards,” U.N. human rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell told a briefing. “We urge the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release all those detained in connection with their exercise of their rights to freedom of expression.”

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams)

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