A court official in southern Ho Chi Minh City says Duong Kim Khai, a pastor at a Mennonite church that’s unrecognized by the government, along with activists Pham Van Thong, Tran Thi Thuy and Can Van Tinh appeared in court Thursday.

The four were sentenced in May along with three others, who did not appeal their sentences. They were given from two to eight years in prison.

Washington condemned the convictions, saying no one should be punished for peacefully expressing their beliefs.

The Associated Press - August 18, 2011