AN American man who was jailed in Vietnam for allegedly “attempting to overthrow the state” has finally been released and is now back in his home in California.
Michael Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam in 1964 and lived in the United States since childhood, was sentenced last year to 12 years in a Vietnamese jail for “attempting to overthrow the state” following his detainment in 2018 over alleged incitement of protesters to attack government offices with Molotov cocktails and slingshots.
However, according to reports on Monday, October 26, he has been released and has returned home to California.
The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi issued a statement confirming that the American man has finally left Vietnam on October 21:
“We welcome his release on humanitarian grounds,” spokeswoman Rachael Chen said.
A family spokesman, Mark Roberts, confirmed: “He arrived home in California this past Thursday.”
Nguyen lost his appeal last year and his family maintained he was innocent, with Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch stating that Washington had regularly raised Nguyen’s detention with the government.
“The message in Michael’s release is public and private pressure on the Vietnam government works when it is consistently applied on cases of dissidents who should never have been arrested, much less imprisoned, in the first place,” Robertson said.
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