Human Rights chief concerned after Vietnam convicts bloggersListen /
Vietnam's decision to convict three bloggers for "conducting propaganda" against the State is cause for concern, says UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay.
On Monday the bloggers received sentences ranging from four years' imprisonment and three years' probation, to 12 years behind bars together with five years' probation, for posting material on a journalism club website.
Charles Appel reports
Ms. Pillay said the convictions reflect a trend of increasing restrictions on freedom of expression in Vietnam, particularly against those who voice their criticisms online.
The Human Rights chief also observed that the sentences were handed down only after a few hours of deliberations, thus raising questions about the defendants' rights to due process and a fair trial.
Ms. Pillay called the decision an unfortunate development which undermines Vietnam's commitments to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression.
Charles Appel, United Nations