Writer sentenced to 10-month prison term

New York, November 12, 2003—The Hanoi People’s Court sentenced writer Tran Dung Tien to 10 months in prison in a two and a half hour trial today.

The sentence is retroactive and so Tien, who was arrested on January 22, 2003, is slated for release on November 22.

“CPJ welcomes Tran Dung Tien’s imminent release, but we are disappointed that he was found guilty,” said Ann Cooper, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “Tien never should have been imprisoned in the first place.”

Tien, 74, was convicted on charges including “abusing democratic freedoms” and faced a possible sentence of up to seven years. Tien’s wife and daughter attended the trial, but other foreign and domestic observers were barred from the courtroom.

For more information, see the November 11 alert and the March 5 protest letter.