Nguyen Van Hai or blogger Dieu Cay.
The HCM City People’s Court is going to try three defendants on August 7, including Nguyen Van Hai, 60, or blogger Dieu Cay, from HCM City; Ta Phong Tan, 54, or blogger Su That va Cong Ly, from Bac Lieu province; and Phan Thanh Hai, 53, or blogger Anh Ba Saigon, from HCM City, for taking propaganda against the State.
According to the indictment, in 2001, Le Xuan Lap, 54, who worked at the HCM City office of a newspaper asked the permission of the Vietnamese Journalists’ Association to establish the “Freedom Journalists’ Association” to assist freelance writers who do not have press cards. The proposal was rejected.
In 2007, after being retired, Mr. Lap submitted the similar proposal to the Prime Minister but it was also rejected.
However, on September 19, 2007, Lap, Nguyen Van Hai or blogger Dieu Cay and some others met at a coffee shop in Bien Hoa city, Dong Nai province, to establish the “Club of Freedom Journalists.” After that, they opened a blog, chaired by Lap.
However, Hai changed the password to self master the blog. Hai recruited Ta Phong Tan and Phan Thanh Hai, who shared similar points of view, to join the club. Hai was elected as the club chair while Lap was rejected from the club.
Since then, Nguyen Van Hai, Ta Phong Tan and Phan Thanh Hai wrote many articles against the state on the club’s blog and their own blogs, including “Justice and Truth” or “Truth and Justice” of Ta Phong Tan and “Anhbasaigon” of Phan Thanh Hai.
They posted 421 articles on the club blog from September 2007 to October 2010, including 94 articles written by the club members and 327 fed from blogs and websites of anti-Vietnamese state organizations.
According to inspectors of the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, 26 articles excited public opinion against the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, to change the current regime and State.
They also took advantage of some political and social events to organize and take part in demonstrations in the name of opposing China’s invasion of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Paracel and Spratly Islands), and boycotting the Beijing Olympics when the torch relay was held in HCM City.
Nguyen Van Hai and Phan Thanh Hai also went to Thailand from March 13, 2008, to March 16, 2008, to attend a training course, aiming to overthrow the government, held by the Viet Tan Party, an organization against the Vietnamese state.
According to the HCM City People’s Procuracy, Nguyen Van Hai was the leader of the Club of Freedom Journalists, who takes responsibility for articles on the club blog from the club’s establishment to April 20, 2008. (He was arrested for tax evasion and sentenced two years and six months in jail). Hai was also accused of getting in touch with anti-State forces outside Vietnam to get their assistance to carry out illegal activities.
Ta Phong Tan delivered 101 anti-State documents while Phan Thanh Hai posted 20 anti-State articles.
Four lawyers have been permitted to defend the illegal rights and interests of the three defendants.