US criticizes arrest of prominent Vietnam activist



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is urging Vietnam to allow its citizens to express their political views without fear of retribution following the detention of a prominent human rights activist.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Monday that the U.S. is deeply concerned by the arrest last week of 46-year-old Nguyen Van Dai under a national security provision of Vietnam's penal code.

Kirby urged the government to release unconditionally all prisoners of conscience.

Dai is a former human rights lawyer. He is accused of spreading anti-state propaganda. His detention comes as the ruling Communist Party prepares for its five-year congress next year.

Vietnam's relations with the U.S. have improved significantly in recent years, but its human rights record remains a sore point.

Human Rights Watch says Vietnam holds at least 130 political prisoners.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast