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Kham / Reuters

COURT TV: The sentencing of Nguyen Van Dai was televised to ensure the public got the message

When police came to Nguyen Van Dai's door on Feb. 8, the Vietnamese human-rights lawyer thought he was in for a routine questioning session. After all, police had summoned the high-profile dissident at least five times in the previous six months to grill him about his educational seminars on democracy. But this time was different. Dai was taken to his local People's Committee, where about 200 murmuring citizens were waiting to denounce him for crimes against society. One by one, members of the audience, most of them elderly, shuffled to the microphone to criticize Dai. "He has spread half-truths and negative...

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