A court in Hanoi has jailed a dissident writer who used to work for a state-run radio station for satirizing government leaders.
On July 9, the People’s Court of Hanoi City sentenced Pham Chi Thanh to five-and-a-half years in jail for “making, hoard-ing, disseminating and spreading information and documents against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” under the Penal Code’s Article 117.
Thanh, who used to work as an editor at the state-controlled radio station Voice of Vietnam until he was sacked for writing articles criticizing China in 2007, will serve five years’ probation after finishing his jail term. He was also fined 18 million dong (US$782) for selling his book The thien hanh dao hay dai nghich bat dao (Holder of the mandate of heaven or great immoral traitor).
The 69-year-old dissident writer, who was arrested in May 2020, was accused of distributing 220 copies of his book to readers in Vietnam and abroad. His self-published book includes his posts that allegedly “distorted information and vilified the people’s government that caused social concern.”