Vietnam sentences 2 songwriters to prison terms
HANOI (AP) - Two musicians in Vietnam whose topical songs are popular among overseas Vietnamese were sentenced to prison on Tuesday, prompting criticism from the United States and international rights groups.
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, said Tri's lawyer, Tran Vu Hai. They faced possible sentences of up to 20 years.
In a half-day trial, a court in Ho Chi Minh City accused the musicians of posting songs on a website operated by an overseas Vietnamese opposition group, Patriotic Youth, according to Mr Hai. Communist Vietnam does not tolerate challenges to its one-party rule.
Tri, 34, known as Viet Khang, has composed songs criticising 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.