Vietnam upholds pastor's 11-year prison sentence

AP News
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Posted: Jul 31, 2012 4:02 AM
Vietnam upholds pastor's 11-year prison sentence

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — An appeals court in Vietnam has upheld the 11-year sentence given to a pastor of an outlawed Mennonite church. Authorities say he gave interviews to foreign media and posted articles online that distorted the country's religious and human rights situations.

The 43-year-old Nguyen Cong Chinh was convicted of undermining the government policy of unity at a trial in March. He appealed the sentence.

Judge Pham Ba Son said Tuesday there was no new evidence that constituted a sentence reduction at a half-day hearing in central Gia Lai province.

Vietnam's communist government has tight control over society and all churches must get government approval to operate.