Man imprisoned in Vietnam for posting dissent on Facebook

HANOI, Vietnam — A court in Vietnam has sentenced a Facebook user to 4 ½ years in jail for posts that the court said distorted the political situation in the country and opposed the ruling Communist Party and the state, state media reported.

Bui Hieu Vo, 56, was convicted of conducting anti-state propaganda at the one-day trial Wednesday in the People's Court in Ho Chi Minh City, Tuoi Tre newspaper said.

Authorities found 57 posts on Vo's Facebook page opposed the Communist Party and instigated people to engage terrorist activities, it said. He was arrested in March last year.

Vo had confessed and asked the state to give him leniency, the newspaper said. Court officials were not available for comment Thursday.

The newspaper also reported that police in the northern province of Thanh Hoa on Wednesday had detained Nguyen Duy Son for "abuse of democratic freedoms to infringe on the interests of the state, organizations and individuals" by publishing on his Facebook page posts that defamed the country's leaders.

International human rights group and some Western governments often criticize Vietnam for jailing people for peacefully expressing their views, but Hanoi maintains that only law breakers are punished.

More than 100 people are in prison Vietnam after being convicted of violating national security law, according to Human Rights Watch.

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