|A Vietnamese court convicted two renowned musicians to four and six years imprisonment for anti-state propaganda and links to a banned political group, one of their lawyers said on 30 October 2012.
Viet Khang, 34, (real name: Vo Minh Tri) was given a four-year prison term while Hoang Nhat Thong, 37, (real name: Tran Vu Anh Binh) was handed a six-year sentence, lawyer Tran Vu Hai told AFP after a short trial in Ho Chi Minh City.
The court ordered the pair to serve a further two years under house arrest once they are released from prison. The court did not provide details of their supposed crimes when contacted by AFP, except that they were convicted under Article 88 of Vietnam’s Criminal Code.
Viet Khang is widely known for song lyrics which condemn a police crackdown on anti-China activists and touch on other social justice issues. Several of Hoang Nhat Thong’s songs – including one attributed to him that rails against the imprisonment of dissidents – have also been performed by other singers.
Violation of right to free expression
English PEN encourages to send an appeal letter to Vietnamese Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Mr Vu Quang Minh.
English PEN – 30 October 2012:
Voice of America – 30 October 2012:
BBC World – 30 October 2012:
Bangkok Post – 30 October 2012:
Widipedia profile of Viet Khang:
In the wake of police crackdowns on anti-China protesters across Vietnam, Viet Khang wrote two songs: ‘Anh La Ai’ which means Who are You? and ‘NuocToi Dau’, which translates as Where is My Country? When he uploaded them onto YouTube, the songs went viral.In Where is My Country, Khang asks security forces: