Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Viet­nam grants amnesty to more than 4,000 pris­on­ers

Viet­nam has granted amnesty to more than 4,000 pris­on­ers, in­clud­ing one sen­tenced to five years in jail for a na­tional se­cu­rity-re­lated crime.

Giang Son, deputy chair­man of the Pres­i­dent’s Of­fice, told re­porters at a joint press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day that 4,384 in­mates were granted amnesty un­der two di­rec­tives signed by Pres­i­dent Tran Dai Quang.

“The amnesty once again re­flects the pol­icy of le­niency of our party and State of the So­cial­ist Repub­lic of Viet­nam and the hu­mane tra­di­tion of our na­tion,” Son said.

They will be re­leased from their prisons start­ing to­day. One of the pris­on­ers is Bui Xuan Kim who was jailed for na­tional se­cu­rity-re­lated crime, ac­cord­ing to Se­nior Lt. Po­lice Gen­eral Nguyen Van Thanh.

Kim has served three years of his sen­tence for or­ga­niz­ing peo­ple to flee to neigh­bour­ing Cam­bo­dia.

In­ter­na­tional hu­man rights groups, the US govern­ment and some other Western gov­ern­ments have urged Viet­namese govern­ment to re­lease all pris­on­ers of con­science jailed for peace­fully ex­press­ing their views, but Hanoi says only those who broke the law are locked up.

Four­teen for­eign­ers will also be re­leased, ac­cord­ing to Vice For­eign Min­is­ter Ha Kim Ngoc. They in­clude nine from China, three from Laos and one each from South Korea and Aus­tralia.

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