Vietnam tries French citizen for political activities
Hanoi - The trial of a maths professor charged with carrying out activities against the state opened on Wednesday in Ho Chi Minh City.
Pham Minh Hoang, 56, who holds a French passport, is charged with 'carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people's administration.'
Hoang's lawyer was not optimistic. 'I may only have one hope in a thousand that he will be allowed to go free, but I still have to fight for my client,' Tran Vu Hai said.
Hoang, who lived in France from 1973 to 2000, was detained on August 13 on suspicion of attending training sessions by banned political group Viet Tan.
Hoang had confessed and had asked for leniency, news reports said.
Oanh said she believed her husband's arrest was tied to his opposition to Chinese-run bauxite mines in the Central Highlands, which have drawn accusations of environmental degradation and corruption.
Hoang's trial represents a new wave of persecution by the newly appointed government, Viet Tan said.
Between July 30 and August 8, eight Catholics in Vinh Diocese in central Vietnam were arrested after protesting against the authorities.
On August 2, a court upheld a seven-year sentence for human rights lawyer Cu Huy Ha Vu on charges of propagandizing against the state. Cu said it was revenge for his attempts to sue the prime minister over the bauxite mines.
Deutsche Presse Agentur - August 10, 2011