Reporters Without Borders today welcomed the release from prison
of journalist and dissident Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, after nine months and
eight days in prison.
She was sentenced to nine months in prison
by a court in Hanoi today for “disturbing public order” but was
released because she had already spent more than nine months in custody
“We are delighted by this release. Detention was endangering her
health since she suffers from tuberculosis and diabetes,” the worldwide
press freedom organisation said.
Tran Khai Thanh Thuy was
arrested on 23 April 2007, for posting articles critical of the
government on the Internet and in the dissident press. She was
initially charged with “disseminating propaganda hostile to the
Socialist Republic of Vietnam” under Article 88 of the criminal law.
The court did not explain why the charges against her were changed.
days before her arrest, the authorities surprised her while she was in
the act of posting articles deemed subversive. Police seized a memory
stick on which some of her articles were stored.
received the Human Rights Watch’s Hellman-Hammett prize in January 2007
in recognition of “her courage in the face of political repression”.
She is a member of Bloc 8406, a group of pro-democracy activists
founded on 8 April 2006 and which the foreign ministry ruled to be
illegal in October.
“Tran Khai Thanh Thuy only exercised her
right to freedom of expression and her imprisonment without trial was
totally unjustifiable”, Reporters Without Borders said. “We urge the
Vietnamese justice system to re-examine the cases of seven
cyber-dissidents who are currently behind bars,” the organisation