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Viêt-nam 31 August 2005

Government urged to pardon three cyber-dissidents

Reporters Without Borders called on justice minister Uong Chu Luu and on president Tran Duc Luong to include Pham Hong Son, Nguyen Khac Toan and Nguyen Vu Binh in the list of prisoners who will be pardoned on the 60th anniversary of Vietnam’s independence on 2 September. The organisation draws his attention in particular to the case of Pham Hong Son, who is very ill.

"Reporters Without Borders, a press freedom organisation, would like to ask you to include prisoners of conscience Pham Hong Son, Nguyen Khac Toan and Nguyen Vu Binh in the list of prisoners who will be pardoned on the 60th anniversary of Vietnam’s independence on 2 September. We think the time has come to show clemency towards these three men, who have already spent three years in prison and whose only crime was to express themselves freely on the Internet.

We would in particular like to draw your attention to the state of health of Pham Hong Son, who has chest pains and is spitting up blood - the symptoms of tuberculosis, a disease that could be fatal. Several tumours have also appeared on his face and body, possibly indicating that the conditions in his cell are prejudicial to his health. We therefore urge you to show leniency towards Pham Hong Son, especially as his case is very similar to that of Le Chi Quang, who you agreed to release in June 2004 on medical grounds.

As well as Le Chi Quang, four other political prisoners have been freed in the past seven months: Pham Que Duong and Tran Khue in July 2004, and Dr. Nguyen Dan Que and the journalist Nguyen Dinh Huy in February 2005. We hailed all of these releases and they give us hope that you will agree to reexamine the cases of Pham Hong Son, Nguyen Khac Toan and Nguyen Vu Binh, whose detention has gone on too long."




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