Vietnam jails anti-state propagandist, cites links to reactionary groups

The man was found guilty of receiving sponsorships from extremists

Nguyen Van Hoa stands trial for spreading anti-state propaganda at the People’s Court of Ha Tinh Province on November 27, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A man in north-central Vietnam has been sentenced to seven years in prison for spreading anti-state propaganda with funds from reactionary groups.

The man, 22-year-old Nguyen Van Hoa, has also been barred from leaving his place of residence for three years after the conclusion of his jail time.

The verdict was reached on Monday morning by the People’s Court of Ha Tinh Province, which tried Hoa for “spreading propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”

According to Hoa’s indictment, between 2013 and 2017 he ran a number of Facebook accounts that shared posts, videos and photos that distorted the truth and went against the lines and policies of the Communist Party and the State.

During and following the Formosa environmental scandal last year, which involved mass fish deaths along the central coast of Vietnam, Hoa was found to have played a direct role in the shooting of staged videos and photos that were uploaded on his social media accounts to incite anti-government protests.

Hoa also re-published and shared posts written by other “hostile” subjects, the indictment read, and sent his photos and videos to foreign media agencies to spread the hurtful propaganda.

In return, he received sponsorships from extremists and reactionary individuals and organizations in order to fund his operation.

Hoa pleaded guilty to the charges at the People’s Court on Monday.

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