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Vietnam Sentences Pastor To 11 Years

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BosNewsLife (4/14/12). Despite international condemnation a Mennonite pastor remained behind bars Saturday, April 14, after a Vietnamese court sentenced him to 11 years imprisonment for allegedly creating division between the Communist government and its people.

Nguyen Cong Chinh, 43, had been writing and spreading materials that slandered authorities,communicated with “reactionary groups” and incited ethnic minorities to commit wrongdoing, state controlled media claimed.

The state-backed English language Viet Nam News paper called the pastor an “anti-Government agitator” and cited the People’s Court of the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai as saying that the evidence against the church leader “was clear”.

“Chinh had relations with some reactionary organizations and violated the law from 2004 to 2011, disregarding warnings and fines from the local government,” the newspaper commented.

Though “Chinh did not realize what he had been doing was wrong” he “kept following an illegal path, which badly affected the local security and stirred discontent in the public,” the court reportedly said.

“He distorted the domestic situation, calumniating the government, the state and the army in interviews with the foreign media,” and organizations in and outside the country, Viet Nam News quoted the court as saying.

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