Dinh, a former schoolteacher and blogger, was held in pre-trial detention for 10 months while state investigators prepared their case against him. He was charged with violating the criminal code’s Article 88, a vague provision that bans “propagandizing” against the state. On August 8, 2012, he was sentenced in a one-day trial to six years in prison by a Dak Nong provincial court.
The charges related to entries Dinh posted on his personal blog between 2007 and 2011 in which he expressed opposition to the Communist Party leadership and a government-supported bauxite mining project in the country’s Central Highlands region, according to an Agence France-Presse report.
Authorities said they found hundreds of pages of what they considered to be anti-state material on Dinh’s seized laptop computer, including entries that rejected the ruling Communist Party and questioned the ethics of state founder Ho Chi Minh, according to a Voice of America report.
Radio Free Asia reported that Dinh’s family had been pressured by authorities not to publicize his case and had not been told when his trial would be held. A Dak Nong province appeals court upheld his sentence on November 21, 2012. Before the trial, police tried to pressure Dinh into signing a confession in exchange for a reduced sentence. Radio Free Asia reported Dinh was beaten by police with clubs and violently pushed into a waiting police truck after the ruling.
Dinh is suffering from advanced stomach cancer, according to an interview with his wife, Dang Thi Dinh, posted on the independent Danlambao blog. He was being held at Dak Nong provincial prison, according to the Vietnam Human Rights Network, an exile-run human rights group.