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United States / Vietnam 17 June 2005

President George W. Bush urged to raise case of prisoner of opinion with Vietnam’s prime minister

Reporters Without Borders has called on US President George W. Bush to raise the case of Vietnamese prisoner of opinion Pham Hong Son at his 21 June meeting with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Phan Van Khai.

The sole crime committed by this young pharmaceutical company executive is to have posted online a Vietnamese translation of an article on democracy produced by the US embassy in Hanoi.

The organisation called on the US President to intervene personally with Phan Van Khai to obtain an early release for the cyberdissident.

"The government has shown some evidence of goodwill with the recent release of several prisoners of opinion," said Reporters Without Borders. "It could now be opportune for your country to remind Phan Van Khai about the plight of this prisoner of opinion. Apart from Pham Hong Son, two other cyberdissidents remain in prison. They are Nguyen Khac Toan and Nguyen Vu Binh."

Dr Pham Hong Son was sentenced to five years in prison on appeal on 26 August 2003, reduced from 13 years imposed for "espionage" by a lower court. Since his arrest he has only been able to receive one visit from his wife.

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read statement in Vietnamese

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