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Vietnam upholds dissident lawyer jail term

Published on Feb 19, 2014 6:31 AM

HANOI (AFP) - One of Vietnam's most prominent dissidents lost his appeal on Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014, against imprisonment for tax evasion, as dozens of supporters protested outside the court against the communist state's crackdown on dissent.

Scores of police encircled the Hanoi People's Court of Appeals, which upheld a two and a half year jail sentence for Catholic lawyer and blogger Le Quoc Quan, whose conviction in October was condemned by the United States and denounced by rights campaigners as politically motivated.

"The defendant did not show regret and took a disrespectful attitude towards the court," said court president Nguyen Van Son, confirming the jail term and a fine of around US$57,000 (S$71,900).

The television feed to the court's observation room was cut off immediately after the verdict.

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