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Journalist Huynh Nguyen Dao released while concerns mount for imprisoned internet writer Vu Van Hung

(WiPC/IFEX) - The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN is seriously concerned about reports that professor and internet writer Vu Van Hung is in failing health and has been removed from his prison cell to an unknown location. International PEN seeks information about Vu Van Hung's whereabouts as a matter of urgency and seeks assurances of his well being. It urges that he be given full access to all necessary medical care and family visits.

According to International PEN's information, Vu Van Hung was arrested on 18 September 2008 after his home was searched by Security Police officers. At the time, his family was told he would be charged under Article 88 of the Penal Code for "conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam", but no charges have yet been made known. Vu Van Hung, aged 43, had been held at camp B14, district Thanh Liet Thanh Tri, Ha Noi, since 19 September 2008.

On 23 January 2008 Vu Van Hung's wife met with newly amnestied prisoners, released on the Lunar New Year. They had recently shared Vu Van Hung's prison cell and reported serious concerns for his health and well-being following a month-long hunger strike staged by the writer to protest alleged ill-treatment by other inmates and by interrogators. He has reportedly been hospitalised several times in recent weeks and has now been taken from his prison cell to an undisclosed location, apparently as a result of his failing health. His whereabouts remain unknown and concerns for his welfare are mounting.

In a separate case, International PEN has received confirmation of the release of journalist and internet writer Huynh Nguyen Dao (pen name: Huynh Viet Lang) after serving a two and a half-year prison sentence. Huynh Nguyen Dao was arrested on 15 August 2006 on charges of "conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam". He was released on 17 February 2009.

For the BBC's country profile on Vietnam see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/country_profiles/1243338.stm

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