January 5, 2018
Vietnam blogger ‘Mother Mushroom‘ appeal rejected
A Vietnamese court on Thursday rejected the appeal of prominent blogger known as “Mother Mushroom” who is serving a 10-year sentence for anti-state propaganda, days after one of her lawyers was disbarred in a case that has drawn global ire.
Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was sentenced to a decade in jail in June, a heavy term decried by rights groups that accuse the communist government of waging a harsh crackdown against critics this year.
Her appeal was denied by a court in the southern city of Nha Trang, her lawyer Ha Huy Son said, at a heavily-guarded trial closed to foreign media.
“The sentence is very unfair and biased. They argued that Quynh confessed her wrongdoings, but I think it‘s groundless and not in accordance with the law,” Son told AFP after the half-day trial.
A few days before her appeal, Vo An Don, one of her lawyers, was disbarred in a move he said was politically motivated.
“The main reason was that I had participated in defending the rights of several poor people and prisoners of conscience. The authorities might have hated me for that,” Don told AFP.
The bar association in nearby Phu Yen province accused Don of providing false information to foreign media, abusing his right to free speech by spreading propaganda and distorting the truth, according to the state-run Thanh Nien newspaper.