WASHINGTON (Nov. 1, 2012) — In a press statement Thursday, Deputy Spokesperson Mark C. Toner of the U.S. Secretary of State, said the U.S. government is troubled by the actions of the Vietnamese government in sentencing two musicians to prison sentences for conduction peaceful protests.
Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court conviction and sentencing on October 30 of musicians Viet Khang and Tran Vu Anh Binh on charges of “propagandizing against the state.” The Court sentenced Viet Khang to four years and Tran Vu Anh Binh to six years. Both face house arrest following completion of their sentences.
Toner said this is the latest in a series of detentions and convictions in Vietnam against those seeking nothing more than the peaceful expression of their views. This latest example of the Vietnamese authorities restricting freedom of expression is inconsistent with international standards.
“Given the recent worsening of the human rights situation in Vietnam, we urge the Vietnamese government to acknowledge and remedy this situation, including through the release of these musicians, and all prisoners of conscience, as well as adherence to its international obligations immediately,” Toner said.