Nguyen Huu Vinh (L) and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy at the court (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – An appeal court in Hanoi on September 22 upheld the five-year imprisonment sentence for blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh, on the charge of “abusing the rights to democracy and freedom to infringe on the interests of the State and rights and interests of organisations and citizens”.

Vinh’s assistant Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy was sentenced to three years in prison.

According to the indictment, Vinh, 60, launched the blogs “Dan Quyen” at diendanxahoidansu.wordpress.com, and “Chep Su Viet” at chepsuviet.wordpress.com in September 2013 and January 2014.

He later asked Thuy, 36, to release 24 articles containing untruthful and groundless contents on the websites, which distorted the Party policies and State laws, tarnished personal reputation and affected organisations’ prestige, presenting a one-sided and pessimistic view, causing public anxiety and worry.

Throughout the interrogation and arguments, both defendants denied the charges.

After considering the defendants’ testimony, lawyers’ arguments, the indictment and related evidence and documents, the judge council came to the conclusion that the act of Vinh and Thuy constituted the abuse of the rights to democracy and freedom to infringe on the interests of the State and rights and interests of organisations and citizens as stipulated in Clause 2, Article 258 of the Penal Code.

The council said the act is dangerous to society and the sentences handed down by the previous court must be maintained.

The prison terms of Nguyen Huu Vinh and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thuy are counted from May 5, 2014.-VNA