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Vietnam thows politcal blogger in prision on tax law conviction

WASHINGTON – A Vietnamese court upheld the conviction of human rights lawyer Le Quoc Quan on charges of tax evasion.

Le Quoc Quan was arrested on December 27, nine days after the BBC published his article criticizing the retention of Article 4 of Vietnam’s constitution, which makes the Communist Party preeminent in national political life. Le Quoc Quan had been arested a number of times in the past after speaking out.

On Tuesday following the announcement of the conviction, the US expressed its displeasure at the Vietnamese government:

We are deeply concerned by the Vietnamese Government’s decision to uphold the conviction of human rights lawyer and blogger Le Quoc Quan to 30 months in prison on tax evasion charges. The use of tax laws by Vietnamese authorities to imprison government critics for peacefully expressing their political views is disturbing. This conviction appears to be inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression and Vietnam’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and commitments reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We call on the government to release prisoners of conscience and allow all Vietnamese to peacefully express their political views.

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