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Southeast Asia, explained

Given his harsh 11-year prison sentence, you might suspect Vietnamese pastor and (in government parlance) "anti-government agitator" Nguyen Cong Chinh took up arms against the state.

Not quite.

The 43-year-old is instead guilty of "divisive propaganda" and "sabotaging the great national unity policies" by circulating documents critical of the government, according to the government-run Vietnam News.

According to the court, as cited by the state-run news outlet, Chinh "distorted the domestic situation, calumniating the government, the state and the army in interviews with the foreign media," the court said.

That's all it took to catch an 11-year sentence.

In Vietnam, calumniate at your own peril.

http://www.globalpost.com/globalpost-blogs/southeast-asia/Nguyen-Cong-Chinh