MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - Amnesty International welcomed the release from prison of a popular Vietnamese blogger on issues of social justice and expressed hope for the release of other "prisoners of conscience" Wednesday.
"We're delighted that Dieu Cay, a courageous voice for human rights in Vietnam, has been released, but he should never have been imprisoned in the first place. He was a prisoner of conscience, and his only crime was to peacefully express opinions that the Vietnamese authorities didn't want aired," Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International's Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific said, as published on the organization's website.
"Dieu Cay is far from an isolated case. Vietnam must now follow up and release the scores of other prisoners of conscience still behind bars. The government must also end its harsh crackdown on freedom of expression, stop targeting peaceful activists and allow civil society a voice," Abbott added.
Nguyen Van Hai, known by his pseudonym Dieu Cay, was released from prison Tuesday, having served four out of 12 years of his sentence. He was prosecuted by the Vietnamese government for tax evasion and anti-state propaganda and found guilty under Article 88 of Vietnamese Penal Code for propaganda against the state in 2012.
Dieu Cay is also a founding member of the Club for Free Journalists.