HANOI, Vietnam – The Vietnamese government released journalist, Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, from jail. The court sentenced her to nine months in prison for “disturbing the public order.” Although Tran Khai Thanh Thuy was sentenced today, she was released for time already served. Foreign reporters were denied access to her one-day trial at the Hanoi People’s Court.
Tran Khai Thanh Thuy was arrested in April of 2007 for posting articles critical of the government. Two days prior to her arrest authorities entered her home and caught her posting the articles. During the incident, police seized a memory stick that stored many of her articles. In addition her articles, Tran Khai Thanh has written numerous novels, political essays, and was an editor of the dissident bulletin, Fatherland.
In January 2007, Human Rights Watch awarded Tran Khai Thanh Thuy the Hellman-Hammett prize for “her courage in the face of political repression.”Tran Kai Thanh Thuy also belongs to Bloc 8406, which is a group of pro-democracy activists. The foreign ministry has ruled the group illegal. Vietnamese authorities also have accused her of organizing an independent trade union and supporting a dissident human rights commission.
During Tran Khai Thanh Thuy’s imprisonment, the government-controlled press printed a range of charges against the journalist, which included conspiring with other democracy activists to overthrow the Vietnamese government, and urging foreign citizens to kidnap Vietnamese diplomats.
For more information, please see:
AP – Vietnam Sentences Dissident Writer – 31 January 2008
Earthtimes – Vietnamese Dissident Released from Prison – 31 January 2008
Reporters Without Borders – Journalist Tran Khai Thanh Thuy Released from Jail– 31 January 2008