New York, September 20, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release from prison of Vietnamese blogger Ta Phong Tan and calls on authorities to release all other journalists and bloggers imprisoned in the country. Tan was freed from prison and traveled to the United States, where she arrived late Saturday, according to local and international news reports. The journalist was released after serving three years of a 10-year prison term given to her in September 2012 on anti-state charges in connection with her blog, Cong Ly v Su That (Justice and Truth), which focused on human rights abuses and corruption among police and in the court system.
“The release of Vietnamese blogger Ta Phong Tan is gratifying news, but Vietnam is still holding more than a dozen journalists behind bars in connection with their work,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Vietnamese authorities should do all they can, including repeal the country’s harsh anti-press laws, to ensure that journalists are able to work and report freely.”
Vietnamese authorities also granted an early release from prison in October 2014 to Nguyen Van Hai, who co-founded with Tan the Free Journalists Club website. Hai, who was serving a 12-year prison term, is living in exile in the U.S. CPJ advocated widely for the release of Tan, who reportedly waged a hunger strike in prison. Tan is also featured in CPJ’s campaign, Press Uncuffed, which highlights journalists imprisoned around the world. Vietnam was the fifth worst jailer of journalists in the world, according to CPJ’s prison census conducted on December 1.