Hanoi frees rights lawyer after three-year sentence

AP , HANOI

Tue, Mar 09, 2010 - Page 4

A Vietnamese human rights lawyer has been released after serving a three-year jail sentence for spreading propaganda against the state.

Le Thi Cong Nhan was released on Saturday from Prison Number 5 in northern Thanh Hoa Province and was escorted by police to her home in Hanoi, said prison chief Luong Van Tuyen. The 30-year-old still has to serve three years of house arrest.

In May 2007, Nhan was sentenced by a Hanoi court for violating Article 88 of the penal code, which broadly prohibits spreading propaganda against the state.

An appeals court reduced her jail time from four to three years in November of that year.

A fellow lawyer who was convicted along with Nhan, Nguyen Van Dai, was sentenced to five years in prison. His sentence was reduced by one year. His release from prison is not expected for another year.

The two were accused of using the Internet to call for a multiparty state in Vietnam. They also gave interviews to foreign news agencies.