Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today issued the following statement regarding the release of Vietnamese prisoner of conscience Nguyen Van Dai:
“I am very pleased to hear the news that the falsely imprisoned Nguyen Van Dai, a prisoner of conscience I have long advocated for, has been released and been granted asylum in Germany.
“I am glad to see that the Vietnamese government yielded to international pressure, including from the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the Congressional Vietnam Caucus here in the U.S.
“Nguyen Van Dai is a classic example of a leader. He is a man who wanted something better for his people, stood up for his ideals, and spoke his mind.
“Unfortunately, Vietnam is a case study of a repressive government that does not follow the rule of law, that denies basic human rights, and subverts their own justice system to use it as a political tool. The truth is Nguyen Van Dai should never have been arrested, should never have been tried, and should never have been imprisoned.
“He and his wife have now been exiled from Vietnam, forced to give up their possessions, their family, and their homeland. Nguyen Van Dai should be celebrated as a leader and hero of the Vietnamese people and be allowed to return to Vietnam as a free man.”