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Published On: Tue, Oct 30th, 2012

Vietnamese musicians, Vo Minh Tri and Tran Vu Anh Binh, sentenced to prison tern for spreading anti-government propaganda

Two prominent Vietnamese musicians have become the latest activists to be jailed for spreading songs that are critical  to the one-party comunist government, according to a Voices of America report.

Anh La Ai music video (youtube) Viet Khang

Vo Minh Tri and Tran Vu Anh Binh were sentenced to four and six years in prison, respectively, on charges of spreading propaganda against the state, according to their attorney.

In a Ho Chi Minh City court Tuesday, the state accused the musicians of posting songs on a website operated by an overseas Vietnamese opposition group, Patriotic Youth.

Vo Minh Tri, better known under his pen name Viet Khang, has composed songs criticizing the government for not taking a more aggressive position against China in the potentially resource-rich South China Sea, where Vietnam, China and other Asian nations have competing territorial claims, according to a Washington Post report.

Some of their songs include Viet Nam Toi Dau,  “Anh La Ai?” and NuocToi Dau?, which translates as “Where is My Country?”

Under Vietnamese law, musicians have to seek permission from censors before they broadcast their work to a public audience.

The prison sentences has drawn the ire of the United States and international human rights groups.

“This conviction is the latest in a series of moves by Vietnamese authorities to restrict freedom of expression. The Vietnamese government should release this musician, all prisoners of conscience and adhere to its international obligations immediately,” US embassy spokesman Christopher Hodges said in a statement.

The arrests and convictions of the musicians follows the arrests and convictions of two dissident bloggers, Dinh Dang Dinh and Le Thanh Tung,  for writing ”propaganda against the state” this past summer.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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