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When early release means exile

On 11 June 2015, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., speaks during a Congressional briefing on Vietnam's human rights record, in Washington; behind her is a picture of Vietnamese political prisoner Dang Xuan Dieu
On 11 June 2015, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., speaks during a Congressional briefing on Vietnam's human rights record, in Washington; behind her is a picture of Vietnamese political prisoner Dang Xuan Dieu

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Excerpt of a blog post originally published on cpj.org on 17 February 2017.

By Shawn W. Crispin / CPJ Senior Southeast Asia Representative

Vietnamese journalist and religious activist Dang Xuan Dieu was granted early release January 12, 2017 from a 13-year prison sentence on anti-state charges filed over his critical reporting. As with recent early releases of other jailed Vietnamese journalists, Dieu was forced to immediately board a plane and go into exile as a condition for his freedom.

Dieu, a reporter with Vietnam Redemptorist News, an online multimedia platform run by Catholic priests and religious activists out of a church in Ho Chi Minh City, said that he suffered extraordinary abuses during his over five years in prison. On one occasion, he said, prison authorities severely beat him for refusing to wear prison clothes emblazoned with the word "criminal." On another, he was shackled in a cell with another prisoner who often physically assaulted him.

Click here to read CPJ's e-mail interview with Dieu.

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