Asia

Hanoi court begins hearing appeal by activist blogger

  • FILE - In this March 23, 2016 file photo, Vietnam's prominent blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh, left, and his assistant Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy stand together during a trial in Hanoi, Vietnam. A court in Hanoi began hearing an appeal Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, from a prominent Vietnamese blogger who was sentenced earlier this year to five years in prison for anti-state writings. (Bui Doan Tan/Vietnam News Agency via AP, File)

    FILE - In this March 23, 2016 file photo, Vietnam's prominent blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh, left, and his assistant Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy stand together during a trial in Hanoi, Vietnam. A court in Hanoi began hearing an appeal Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, from a prominent Vietnamese blogger who was sentenced earlier this year to five years in prison for anti-state writings. (Bui Doan Tan/Vietnam News Agency via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Media and diplomats watch a live screen showing prominent blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh, right, and his colleague Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, left, in an appeals court in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. Vinh who was sentenced to five years in prison earlier this year for anti-state writings and Thuy who received three years behind bars on the same charge, appeal their sentences. (AP Photo/Tran Van Minh)

    Media and diplomats watch a live screen showing prominent blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh, right, and his colleague Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, left, in an appeals court in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. Vinh who was sentenced to five years in prison earlier this year for anti-state writings and Thuy who received three years behind bars on the same charge, appeal their sentences. (AP Photo/Tran Van Minh)  (The Associated Press)

  • Vietnamese prominent blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh, left, and his colleague Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy stand at the dock during their trial at the Higher People’s Court in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. The court heard appeals from the prominent blogger who was sentenced to five years in prison for anti-state writings. Nguyen Huu Vinh, better known as Anh Ba Sam, was convicted of abusing democratic freedoms to infringe on the interests of the state and sentenced to five years in prison in March. (Doan Tan/Vietnam News Agency via AP)

    Vietnamese prominent blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh, left, and his colleague Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy stand at the dock during their trial at the Higher People‚Äôs Court in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. The court heard appeals from the prominent blogger who was sentenced to five years in prison for anti-state writings. Nguyen Huu Vinh, better known as Anh Ba Sam, was convicted of abusing democratic freedoms to infringe on the interests of the state and sentenced to five years in prison in March. (Doan Tan/Vietnam News Agency via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A court in Hanoi has begun hearing an appeal from a prominent blogger who was sentenced earlier this year to five years in prison for anti-state writings.

Nguyen Huu Vinh, better known as Anh Ba Sam, was convicted of abusing democratic freedoms to infringe on the interests of the state at a one-day trial in March.

Vinh's colleague Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, who was given a three-year jail term on the same charge is also appealing her sentence.

Security around the Higher People's Court near downtown Hanoi, was tight with roads blocked off.

New York-based Human Rights Watch has called for the release of both defendants.