Monday, June 15, 2009

Vietnam: Arrest of Lawyer Le Cong Dinh

Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman, Office of the Spokesman
Bureau of Public Affairs -Washington, DC
June 15, 2009

The United States is deeply concerned by the arrest by Vietnamese authorities of lawyer Le Cong Dinh on June 13 on charges of “distributing propaganda against the state.” Vietnamese officials have stated that Dinh was arrested because of his defense of pro-democracy activists and his use of the Internet to express his views.

Mr. Dinh is a well-respected member of the Vietnamese and international legal communities, and a former Fulbright scholar. No individual should be arrested for expressing the right to free speech, and no lawyer should be punished because of the individuals they choose to counsel.

Vietnam’s arrest of Mr. Dinh contradicts the government’s own commitment to internationally-accepted standards of human rights and to the rule of law. We urge the Government of Vietnam to release Mr. Dinh immediately and unconditionally, as well as all other prisoners in detention for peacefully expressing their views. # # # PRN: 2009/597

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