Vietnam Releasing 10,000 Prisoners in Annual Amnesty

Posted August 29th, 2011 at 11:45 am (UTC-5)
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Vietnam has ordered more than 10,000 prisoners freed as part of the country's annual independence day amnesty.

The government in Hanoi has identified 11 of the 10,535 prisoners up for release as foreign nationals convicted of breaking laws on social order, and says they include U.S, Canadian and Australian citizens. Authorities say five of the prisoners were convicted of unspecified national security violations.

The French news agency quotes Vietnam's Deputy Minister for Public Security, Le Quy Vuong, as placing the total number of inmates in Vietnamese prisons at more than 100,000.

Vietnam, which does not tolerate any form of public dissent, has been widely criticized in the West for jailing political and religious dissidents.

National Day is September 2 and marks the day in 1945 when founding leader Ho Chi Minh publicly declared independence from colonial France.