Vietnam sentences blogger to 2 years in prison for critical posts he says were free speech

A court in central Vietnam has sentenced a well-known blogger to 2 years in prison for posting criticism of the communist government in the latest case from an intensified crackdown against dissent.

Lawyer Tran Vu Hai said Truong Duy Nhat was convicted of posting material that distorted the government's policies and put the country's leadership in the bad light. The half-day trial took place in Danang City on Tuesday.

His lawyer said Nhat told the court that he did post the 12 articles on his blog, but maintained that his acts did not constitute a crime, and that he merely exercised his rights to freedom of expression.

The 50-year-old Nhat was arrested at his home in central Danang City in May last year.