p2pnet.net News:- Seventy-two-year-old Pham Que Duong, who criticized corruption in Vietnam and called for democratic reforms online, has been sentenced to 19 months in jail.
A former Communist Party member and military historian, he was promoted to colonel and from 1982-87 was editor-in-chief of the People’s Army of Vietnam Tap Chi Lich Su Quan Su (Military History Journal), says the Vietnamese Federation For Fatherland’s Integrity here, going on:
“His questioning of communist practices caused his early retirement. In 1991, he was investigated three times for allegedly distributing materials critical of the Party. In 1995, his home was searched during a government crackdown against dissent.
“In January 1999, Pham Que Duong publicly renounced his membership in the Communist Party to protest the expulsion of former general Tran Do from the Party a few days before. In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Pham Que Duong confirmed his action and also revealed that many other high-ranking military personnel shared his feelings and were supportive of Gen. Tran Do’s position.”
Pham Que Duong was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City, once Saigon, on December 28, 2002.
However, “The court ordered Pham Que Duong’s release at the end of this month because of the time spent in jail since his arrest in December 2002,” says a Reuters story here.
It quotes Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung as saying, “Pham Que Duong was sentenced to 19 months in jail for abusing democratic rights harming the interest of the state, rights and interests of organizations and citizens,” said.
Professor Tran Khue, arrested with Duong, was also sentenced to 19 months, says the Committee for the Protection of Journalists here.