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Vietnam set to release more than 4,000 prisoners

Nov 30. 2016
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By Deutsche Presse Agentur

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Hanoi - Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang pardoned more than 4,000 prisoners Wednesday morning, the deputy chairman of the President's Office has confirmed.

The pardons, which were expected in the run-up to January's Lunar New Year holiday, included 4,180 inmates convicted of an array of crimes, Giang Son said at a press conference in Hanoi.

Son added that the prisoners had been vetted in a "strict approval process" to ensure they were at a low risk of re-offending.

Lieutenant General Nguyen Ngoc Bang of the Ministry of Public Security told the VN Express news site that pardon recipients were mainly well-behaved prisoners.

Although rights group maintain that Vietnam holds scores of political prisoners, it was unclear if any were included in Wednesday's pardoning. 

New York-based organisation Human Rights Watch said in December of last year that Vietnam was holding at least 130 prisoners of conscience.

But Hanoi maintains that only those who break the law are imprisoned and denies holding any political prisoners.


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