Binh was arrested at his home in Ho Chi Minh City, according to a local Thanh Nien newspaper report citing his court indictment. He was charged in connection with eight critical articles he wrote on political, economic, and social issues in Vietnam that were published between January and May 2012 on a blog called Nguoi Viet Vi Dan Toc Viet (Vietnamese people dedicated to Vietnam). The blog is run by a dissident group based in Australia, according to news reports.
On April 17, 2013, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court convicted Binh under Article 88 of the penal code, a vague law that bars “conducting propaganda” against the state. He was sentenced to three years in prison followed by three years of house arrest.
According to the indictment, Binh’s articles contained “distorted information about the Party’s policies, the State’s laws and fabricated information about the private life of Party and State leaders,” Thanh Nien reported. The court ruled that Binh’s articles were “against the guidelines of the Communist Party of Vietnam and Vietnamese government” and “aimed at inciting the people to act against” the state, Radio Free Asia reported, citing state media reports. Judges said he had misrepresented himself in his writings as a member of the party with inside sources, according to the reports.
On August 15, 2013, an appeals court reduced Binh’s prison sentence to two years. He was being held at Ho Chi Minh City’s Phan Dang Luu Detention Center, according to the Vietnam Human Rights Network.