Sun, Oct 23, 2011 - Page 7 News List

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VIETNAM

Land rights activists jailed

A court has sentenced three land rights activists from the same family to up to seven years in jail for spreading anti-government propaganda, state media said yesterday. Nguyen Ngoc Cuong, 55, received a seven-year prison term, while his 25-year-old son got two years and his daughter-in-law received a suspended sentence, according to the Communist Party newspaper Nhan Dan. The three were known to campaign on behalf of farmers embroiled in land disputes with local authorities, an increasingly contentious issue. They were arrested in April for distributing anti-government leaflets, giving money to protesters and for publishing interviews containing “anti-regime content” online, the report said. They were also accused of founding an Internet forum called “Vietnam and Today’s Issues” that they used to urge fellow citizens “to distort the policies of the state and the party,” the paper said.

CHINA

Mining deaths down: official

The country says its coal mines have had fewer fatalities and accidents this year compared with the same period last year, though its mines are still the world’s most dangerous. Xinhua news agency yesterday quoted the top official in charge of coal mine safety as saying that 1,419 miners were killed in the first nine months of the year, 27.6 percent fewer than the same period last year. Zhao Tiechui told Xinhua that the number of deadly accidents fell 18.7 percent to 892 during the same period. The report did not credit any specific measures for the improvements, though China has cracked down on the smaller, illegal mines blamed for many deaths. Fatalities in China’s coal mines last year were about one-third of the high of nearly 7,000 in 2002.

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