A photo taken at the scene of the June 10 protests. Photo: YouTube.

Authorities in Vietnam have sentenced two men to jail after they were found guilty of burning six cars during a protest in 2018.

On May 21, a court in the Binh Thuan Province sentenced 19-year-old Dang Ngoc Tan to 17 years and 31-year-old Pham Thanh to 11 years in prison for “deliberate destruction of property,” VN Express reported.

At the trial, the duo confessed and pleaded for a lenient sentence.

The two men were the first to be tried for destruction of property that took place in the June 10 protests in Binh Thuan, east of Ho Chi Minh City, when hundreds of people gathered on a highway to protest against the Special Economic Zones bill.

Protesters were seen blocking vehicles and throwing objects at police who were there to handle the situation. On the next day, protesters stormed a fire station where police officers had sought shelter. The building was vandalized and 12 vehicles inside were destroyed.

Pham and Dang were found guilty of destroying six of the vehicles with petrol bombs.

Authorities arrested and jailed almost 100 other protesters in earlier trials that took place throughout the country. The protesters were objecting to a law that would allow foreign investors to lease land for 99 years.

Passage of the law has been suspended.

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