Hoang, a university mathematics professor and political blogger associated with the exiled Viet Tan pro-democracy party, was first arrested in Ho Chi Minh City and charged under Article 79 of the penal code for activities aimed at overthrowing the government.
On August 10, 2011, Ho Chi Minh City’s People’s Court sentenced him to three years in prison and another three years of house arrest for “activities aimed at overthrowing the government,” according to local and international news reports. The prison term was later reduced on appeal to 17 months, according to Viet Tan.
The national security-related charges referred to 33 articles written under Hoang’s penname, Phan Kien Quoc, according to news reports. The entries focused on corruption, environmental degradation, and perceived government failures to protect the country’s territorial sovereignty from Chinese intervention, according to Viet Tan. The journalist was also convicted on charges of having membership in Viet Tan.
The courts ruled that the year Hoang spent in pre-trial detention at the Ministry of Public Security’s Detainment Center in Saigon District 1 would count against his sentence.