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CSW disappointed at Vietnamese Christian lawyers appeal verdict

ICC Note

“We are disappointed that the pair were not freed following the appeal hearing, as had been hoped. However, the reduction in their sentences is positive. We believe that lawyers Dai and Nhan have been imprisoned in order to be silenced, and call for their immediate and unconditional release. We will continue to urge the international community to put pressure on the Vietnamese authorities to secure their freedom.”

November 29, 2007 Vietnam (CSW)-Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) today expressed disappointment that Vietnamese Christian lawyers Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan were not released after their appeal hearing at the Supreme People’s Court yesterday, but welcomed the reduction of their sentences.

The pair were sentenced in May 2007 to prison terms of five years and four years respectively for ‘disseminating slanderous and libellous information against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’ under Article 88 of the nation’s Criminal Code. Both sentences were cut by one year following the appeal hearing yesterday.

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CSW’s National Director, Stuart Windsor, said, “We are disappointed that the pair were not freed following the appeal hearing, as had been hoped. However, the reduction in their sentences is positive. We believe that lawyers Dai and Nhan have been imprisoned in order to be silenced, and call for their immediate and unconditional release. We will continue to urge the international community to put pressure on the Vietnamese authorities to secure their freedom.”

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