Hanoi: A leading Vietnamese dissident freed by Hanoi was mobbed by supporters late Tuesday as he arrived in the United States, vowing to fight for democracy and other detainees in his home country.
Nguyen Van Hai, one of Vietnam`s most prominent bloggers, was freed two years after he was sentenced to 12 years in jail by a court in southern Vietnam on charges of "anti-state propaganda."
"This is a result of the victory of democratic values," he said as dozens of supporters crowded around him at Los Angeles international (LAX) airport, where he arrived from Vietnam via Hong Kong.
"This is the most effective message that we can convey to other political prisoners who are still now in communist prisons ... that they are not alone," he said in Vietnamese, translated by one of many activists there to greet him.
His release came only weeks after Washington partially lifted a 40-year ban on arms sales to Hanoi, citing some "modest" progress in human rights as one of the reasons for reviewing a prohibition in place since the Vietnam War.