Vietnam Sentences Two Musicians to Prison Terns on Propaganda Charges

November 01, 2012

From the New York Times:

A court in Vietnam has sentenced two musicians to prison for writing and distributing protest songs, a decision that drew fire from the United States and international human-rights groups, The Associated Press reported. The musicians, Vo Minh Tri and Tran Vu Anh Binh, were convicted on Tuesday of spreading propaganda against the state after a half-day trial in Ho Chi Minh City, a defense lawyer said. Mr. Tri received four years in prison, Mr. Binh six.

Both were accused of posting songs on a Web site of Patriotic Youth, a opposition group based overseas. Mr. Tri, 34, who uses the stage name Viet Khang, has criticized the government in his songs for not taking a harder line against China in territorial disputes. A video for his song, “Viet Nam Toi Dau” (“Where Is My Vietnam?”), has become a YouTube hit, with 700,000 views. Mr. Binh, 37, recorded the song “Courage in the Prison” (“Nguc Toi Hien Ngang”) in support of an imprisoned blogger, Nguyen Van Hai. The song urges people to mount nonviolent protests.

Keep reading here.