English PEN welcomes news that our Honorary Member, the journalist and writer Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, was released from prison yesterday, 31 January 2008. She was convicted by a Hanoi court of ‘disturbing public order’ and sentenced to 9 months’ imprisonment, but, having already spent 9 months and 8 days in pre-trial detention, she was then released. While relieved that she is now free, PEN condemns her conviction and long period of detention as violations of her right to freedom of expression.
Suffering from tuberculosis and diabetes, Thanh Thuy had grown weak in detention, where she was denied medical treatment. Her trial was closed, and though her family was present, she was reportedly denied legal representation. The charge was changed from ‘disseminating propaganda hostile to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’ to ‘disturbing public order’ without explanation.
For further information on this case, see: /writersinprison/honorarymembers/vietnam/trankhaithanhthuy/
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/bulletins/vietnamtrankhaithanhthuyreleased/