Vietnam releases writer Pham Hong Son
Dr. Pham Hong Son has been released from prison in Vietnam, but his release will be followed by three years of house arrest, reports the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Dr. Son had been detained since 2002 for writing dissident essays and translating and posting online an essay titled “What is Democracy?” that had first appeared on the U.S. State Department’s web site. CPJ called for the house arrest conditions to be lifted and also urged the release of another internet writer and journalist, Nguyen Vu Binh, who is serving a seven year sentence. In an Aug. 24 letter to Vietnam President Nguyen Minh Triet, CPJ executive director Joel Simon protested the harassment of five writers who intend to start an online independent newspaper titled Tu Do Dan Chu (Freedom and Democracy). He also protested increased internet restrictions and a July 1 decree which expands criminal penalities for dissident writers.