Vietnam jails three women for 'anti-state propaganda'

Zoom-in of a photo of the flags of the United States and the former South Vietnam flying outside the Eden Center shopping complex in the Washington suburb of Falls Church on 28 October 2012. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The flag of the former US-backed South Vietnam is often used by dissidents in and outside of Vietnam to protests against the state

Three women in Vietnam have been jailed for making and distributing "anti-state propaganda", local media said.

Ngo Thi Minh Uoc, Nguyen Thi Tri and Nguyen Thi Be Hai had made and held up banners and flags at a demonstration in 2014 in Ho Chi Minh City.

They will serve sentences ranging from three to four years with an additional two years of house arrest.

Charges of spreading anti-state propaganda are often made against dissidents in the communist state.

The three women, who are in their 50s, had flown the flag of the former US-backed South Vietnam in their demonstration outside the US diplomatic mission, according to newspaper Thanh Nien.

They began criticising the state after their land-related claims were "not resolved as they wanted", and were previously involved in illegal demonstrations and fined for disturbing public order, reported Viet Nam News.

The women were convicted on Wednesday. On the same day blogger, Nguyen Ngoc Gia, was jailed for four years on the same charge, in a separate trial in Ho Chi Minh City.

In another trial in Hanoi last week, well-known blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh was jailed for five years on charges of publishing "untruthful, groundless" posts that "distorted" state policies.

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