Vietnam court cuts jail terms for dissidents in rare move
HANOI (REUTERS) - A Vietnam appeals court on Friday halved the eight-year jail term of a dissident and cut the six-year term of another to three years of house arrest, sources familiar with the verdict said, in a rare step welcomed by human rights activists.
Nguyen Phuong Uyen, a 21-year-old student, received a six-year prison term in mid-May, while Dinh Nguyen Kha, 25, got eight years after the two were held guilty of distributing"propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam".
Communist Vietnam has taken a tough line on dissent, with arrests and convictions on the rise in the last three years in the one-party state.
On Friday, the Supreme Court's Court of Appeal suspended Uyen's sentence, giving her three years of house arrest instead, three sources said after a hearing in the Mekong Delta province of Long An. It also ruled that Kha had to serve four years.