US urges Vietnam to free top dissident

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 09:49

Washington: The United States on Wednesday urged
Vietnam to immediately release prominent dissident Cu Huy Ha
Vu after a court upheld his seven-year jail sentence for
speaking out against the state.

"We are very concerned by the denial of activist Cu Huy
Ha Vu`s appeal," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told
reporters.
"We continue to urge the government of Vietnam to
immediately release Mr Vu as well as all other prisoners of
conscience and believe that no individual should be imprisoned
for exercising the right to free speech," Toner said.

Vu, the son of a revolutionary leader, was detained in
November after twice trying to sue Prime Minister Nguyen Tan
Dung over a controversial bauxite mining plan and a decree
that prevented class-action petitions.

Vu was officially accused of spreading propaganda against
the state. But the French-trained legal expert told the appeal
hearing that Dung pursued the case after the attempted
lawsuits caused the prime minister to lose face.
The United States has a growing relationship with Vietnam
and just Monday announced the start of the first regular
military cooperation with its former woe foe. Vietnam has been
eager to build ties amid high tension with historic rival
China.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 09:49

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