Congressman Lowenthal Applauds Release of Vietnamese Activist Nguyen Tien Trung
LONG BEACH, CA - Congressman Alan Lowenthal on Monday applauded the release of democratic activist Nguyen Tien Trung this past Saturday in Vietnam. Trung is a Vietnamese blogger and activist who was arrested by the Vietnamese government in July 2009 on charges of disseminating "propaganda against the socialist state" and "organization to attempt to overthrow the people's government." The one-party Communist government in Hanoi suppresses internal political dissent, religious freedom, and non-government media.
"I applaud the release of Nguyen Tien Trung and other activists. I hope that this is only the first step by the government of Vietnam toward respecting the rule of law and the right of its people to speak out against the government," Congressman Lowenthal said. "The government of Vietnam has a long way to go in respecting the fundamental human rights of its own people, and I will continue fighting to ensure that Trung is not the last person to be released from unfair and unjust imprisonment in Vietnam."
Congressman Lowenthal adopted Nguyen Tien Trung through the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission's "Defending Freedoms Project" and has continually advocated for Trung's release.
Trung, who had been serving a seven-year prison sentence before his release, will still reportedly be subject to a probationary three years of house arrest.
Trung has a Master's Degree in Information Technology from France's Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Rennes, and during his time there, wrote an open letter to Vietnam's Education Minister, demanding reforms to the Vietnam's highly politicized education system. In May 2006, Trung founded the Assembly of Vietnamese Youth for Democracy, which called on world leaders to remind the Vietnamese government of its commitment to human rights. Trung is also Vice General Secretary of the Democratic Party of Vietnam, a peaceful group not recognized by the one-party regime in Hanoi.