The People’s Court of the northern port city of Hai Phong has handed down 22 years’ of imprisonment to six people convicted of propaganda against the Vietnamese State.

The two-day session, which concluded on Oct. 9, sentenced Nguyen Xuan Nghia to six years in prison, Nguyen Van Tuc to four years, Nguyen Van Tinh and Nguyen Manh Son each to three and a half years, Ngo Quynh to three years and Nguyen Kim Nhan to two years.

All the six defendants will also be kept under surveillance for between two and three years at their residential localities after serving their jail terms.

According to the indictment, Nghia, born in 1949, together with his accomplices, hung up banners and distributed leaflets on the Lach Tray flyover in Hai Phong city and Lai Cach flyover in neighbouring Hai Duong province.

They then took photos and authored writings containing distorted and slanderous information on the government and uploaded them to the internet.

These defendants, excluding Quynh, also compiled, stored and disseminated documents with anti-Vietnamese State content.

They frequently sent writings to foreign websites that distorted the Vietnamese Party and State’s policies, crying out for a pluralist and multiparty government, and undermining the Party’s leadership. Their writings incited opposition, defamed the administration, and caused harm to national security and social order.

Nghia alone, as from 2007, joined the provisional representative board of Bloc 8406, a reactionary organisation set up by Nguyen Van Ly and Phan Van Loi.

From 2007 up to his arrest, Nghia authored 57 writings that distorted and smeared the Vietnamese Party and State.

Tinh, Tuc and Son were also the authors of a number of writings sent to reactionary websites. Tinh was previously sentenced by the Hai Phong People’s Court to seven years’ imprisonment for participating in the establishment of a reactionary organisation in 1966.

The court was attended by representatives from the embassies of the US, Sweden, and Australia in Vietnam, and reporters from international news agencies such as Reuters of the UK, AFP of France and DPA of Germany./.