Vietnam frees dissident


HANOI: One of Vietnam’s most prominent dissidents vowed to continue his anti-China activism after being released from prison on Saturday, after spending two and a half years in jail on tax evasion charges.

Le Quoc Quan, a Catholic blogger and lawyer, said he was released from prison in central Quang Nam province early Saturday and met by his family and supporters.

“I am very happy,” he told AFP in his first interview after being released, adding that he planned to head to a hospital for a health check and then spend time with his loved ones.

The 43-year-old lawyer said he had been on hunger strike five times in prison, most recently a 14-day stint ending June 24.

He said he planned to continue the anti-Beijing activism that initially attracted the ire of authorities, adding he was looking forward to reading up on news after being cut off from the world in prison.

Quan, who blogged on a range of sensitive topics including civil rights, political pluralism and religious freedom, has been in detention since December 2012.



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