The ordeal of one Vietnamese pro-democracy advocate, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, exemplifies the sufferings that those who want freedoms and democratic practice across the world undergo. Mr. Duy Thuc was sentenced to a 16-year jail term but the penal code of Vietnam was recently modified. Mr. Duy Thuck has now launched a hunger strike seeking to have his jail term reduced from 16 years to 5 years under the new penal code. Aisling Reidy had this information in Human Rights Watch:
Jailed Vietnamese democracy activist Tran Huynh Duy Thuc has begun a new hunger strike, his third since October, aimed at reducing his 16-year sentence for subversion to five years in line with revisions to the penal code passed after his 2010 conviction, family members say.
Tran, who has already served 11 years of his prison term, was arrested in May 2009 for writing online articles criticizing Vietnam’s one-party communist state and was convicted in 2010 on charges of plotting to overthrow the government under Article 79 of Vietnam’s 1999 Penal Code.
He is now calling for the charges against him to be changed to involvement in “preparation to commit a crime,” an offense calling only for a five-year term of imprisonment under Vietnam’s revised 2015 Penal Code, and Tran’s family and lawyers have tried several times to petition authorities for his sentence to be reduced.
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