Vietnam jails political activist

HANOI – A COURT in communist Vietnam has jailed a political activist for 18 months for ‘causing social disorder’ by joining an anti-government protest in the capital, state media reported on Saturday.

Le Thi Kim Thu, 40, was arrested in mid-August in Hanoi when she joined a small protest in a park outside the presidential palace over a land dispute, the party-run Nhan Dan (The People) newspaper reported.

Thu, who comes from southern Dong Nai province near the industrial hub of Ho Chi Minh City, and other activists were holding banners and ignored police orders to leave the park, the report said.

She had previously been questioned by police, according to the outlawed Bloc 8406 pro-democracy group, and also been detained during the 2006 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit of world leaders in Hanoi.

Paris-based media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders said she was among at least 10 people detained in April this year for planning to protest as the Beijing Olympic torch relay passed through Vietnam. — AFP

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