Jailed Vietnam Blogger Deported to USAdded: Sunday, November 2nd, 2014
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Blogger Nguyen Van Hai, one of the best-known dissidents in Vietnam, has recently been released from the local prison and deported to the United States. The blogger, known online as Dieu Cay, promised to fight to return to his home country. He was jailed a couple years ago for 12 years for disseminating “anti-state propaganda” in his online publications. Some consider this the trumped-up charges for his critical views on China.
His son said his father was the first to talk about China’s intentions towards Vietnam, but now his words are repeated by everybody, even government leaders. Indeed, the blogger was one of the first to criticize China’s encroaching influence over Vietnam. Perhaps, the US senator John McCain, who is a former prisoner of war in Vietnam himself, has helped secure Hai’s release during a visit to Vietnam a few months ago.
The United States has warmed relations with Vietnam greatly as part of its “Asia pivot” and said that it welcomed the country’s decision to release the blogger, considered a prisoner of conscience. It is known that Hai, a founder of Vietnam’s Club for Free Journalists (an alternative to state-controlled news), has been in and out of detentions over the last 7 years. Hai had to fight against his ill treatment in prison by going on repeated hunger strikes.
It is still not clear just how he has ended up in the US, rather than his home town of Saigon. The US state department claimed it was the blogger’s decision to travel to the US, but Hai himself and his family decline this statement, saying that he was removed suddenly from his prison cell and put on a plane to the US, no prior warning was received.
The blogger could only phone this family briefly while in transit in Hong Kong to tell the news. They are sure he was deported to exile, not released. Hai believes that Vietnam sent him abroad on Washington’s request. He claimed he would fight for his return back to his home country.
In the meantime, the political observers point out that Hai was not the first high-profile dissident to be welcomed in the United States in 2014. This past April, French-trained lawyer Cu Huy Ha Vu, a vocal critic of the ruling Communist party, was released from prison and moved to America as well.
The local activists were happy about Hai’s release, but expressed concern over the conditions of his departure. Human Rights Watch’s Asia division admitted that it was very good news that the blogger is set free, but he should never have been in prison in the first place. They claim that the local authorities severely persecuted Hai for years only because he was brave enough to voice his opinions via the Internet and spread them among the Vietnamese people. As such, the government should not receive applause for forcing the blogger into exile as the price of his freedom.
In the meantime, more than 25 other bloggers are still detained in the country, which gives Vietnam the title of “the world’s3rd biggest prison for netizens”.
Posted by: Date:
Sunday, November 2nd, 2014
|This should work the other way around as well. We should deport Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh to China.|
|posted by (2014-11-03 03:32:22)|
|posted by (2014-11-03 23:08:57)|
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