Six Buddhist dissidents sentenced to seven years prison in Vietnam

A Vietnamese court sentenced six followers of a banned Buddhist sect to up to seven years in prison for protesting a police decision to confiscate a motorcycle seized after a traffic violation, an official said Wednesday,reports the AP.

According to the verdict, Vo Van Buu and To Van Manh had their motorbike temporarily confiscated by police in May for not having registration papers and failing to wear helmets, said the court official who identified himself only as Tuoi.

The two then incited other followers to gather on a highway in the southern province An Giang and protest the police's decision, the official said.

Vietnam has been criticized by the U.S. State Department and international human rights groups for violating human rights, including those of people in religious groups not approved by the government, but Hanoi maintains that no one is persecuted for their religion and only lawbreakers are jailed.

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