Jailed labor rights activist released early

(VNRN) – A Vietnamese labor rights activist was freed June 27 from a Hanoi prison after completing four of her 7-year sentence for organizing workers. Two other activists convicted at the same 2010 trial are still imprisoned.

Do Thi Minh Hanh (Đỗ Thị Minh Hạnh), 29, was convicted of “disrupting security” for handing out leaflets in support of workers demanding better pay and conditions. Also convicted were Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung (Nguyễn Hoàng Quốc Hùng) and Doan Huy Chuong (Đoàn Huy Chương). Hung was sentenced to 9 years while Hanh and Chuong received 7 years each.

Hanh’s release was sudden; her family was unaware until Hanh had left prison and called home. The family kept the news quiet until Hanh had arrived safely home in Di Linh province.

Hung, Hanh, and Chuong were accused of organizing and leading a massive strike of 10,000 workers at the My Phong shoe factory in Tra Vinh, a coastal province in the Mekong Delta. The strikers were protesting excessive work hours, a cut in year-end pay, and abusive management.

The police arrested Chuong, Hanh and Hung. Both Hanh and Hung accused the police of beating them. The appellate court in 2011 affirmed the three prison sentences.

Hanh’s mother Tran Thi Ngoc Minh (Trần Thị Ngọc Minh) had been traveling throughout the U.S., Europe and Australia seeking international pressure to free her daughter.

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