CẦN THƠ — The People’s Court of Cần Thơ City on Thursday upheld the prison sentences for Trương Châu Hữu Danh and other members of the “Báo Sạch” (Clean journalism) group.
The five defendants were found guilty of “abusing the rights to freedom and democracy to violate the interests of the State, the rights and legitimate interests of organisations and individuals” under Clause 2 of Article 331 of the 2015 Penal Code (revised and supplemented in 2017).
At the appeal trial, the court upheld the prison term of four years and six months for Trương Châu Hữu Danh (born in 1982, living in Long An Province), three years each for Đoàn Kiên Giang (born in 1985, HCM City) and Lê Thế Thắng (born in 1982, Hà Nội), and two years each for Nguyễn Thanh Nhã (born in 1980, HCM City) and Nguyễn Phước Trung Bảo (born in 1982, Đà Nẵng City).
They were also banned from journalism for three years after their jail terms finish.
According to the jury, the defendants posted many articles on a Facebook fan page named “Báo Sạch” and “Làm Báo Sạch” (Doing clean journalism), a YouTube channel named “BS Channel,” and their personal Facebook pages with content causing “non-material” damage, affecting the prestige and honour of organisations and individuals assigned with management tasks, and undermining people’s trust in the Party and State.
The jury concluded they worked in journalism but took advantage of the job to commit wrongdoings, so the additional penalty of prohibiting them from journalism practice does not run counter to legal regulations. — VNS