Vietnam began prosecution of anti-Communist activists for 'terrorism'

On May 8, 2008, the Communist Party of Vietnam announced it would prosecute two anti-communist activists from the US-based organization Viet Tan on terrorism charges for distributing literature critical of the government. Both men denied that they endorsed anti-government violence. The Communist Party of Vietnam has consistently resisted international pressure to allow opposition political parties and has demonstrated a willingness to crackdown on pro-democracy activities. In May 2007, two Vietnamese human rights lawyers were sentenced to prison for violating Article 88 of the Vietnamese criminal code by advocating that Vietnam adopt a multi-party system of government. A Catholic priest received a similar prison sentence in March 2007 for communicating with pro-democracy activists and distributing anti-government documents. However, pro-democracy groups have been advocating in the country during recent years despite limited access to the political process.

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