Vietnam: PEN mourns the death of writer and activist Dinh Dang Dinh
PEN International mourns the death of blogger Dinh Dang Dinh from cancer on 3 April 2014. Dinh Dang Dinh was granted an amnesty from a six year prison sentence on 21 March 2014, and was released home to die. PEN International sends its sincere condolences to his family.
On 9 August 2012, Dinh Dang Dinh, 51, (pen name: Van Nguyen) was sentenced by the Dak Nong province’s People Court to six years in prison under Article 88-1 (c) of the Criminal Code for “conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.” Defending himself at the half-day closed trial, he pleaded not guilty. His sentence was upheld on appeal at a 45-minute hearing on 21 November 2012. The charges were brought against him after he published articles tackling corruption and environmental issues, deemed as anti-government on his blog.
Until recently, Dinh Dang Dinh was detained in the Public Security Police Cong An detention camp, Dak Nong province. He underwent an operation for liver and stomach cancer in November 2013, but his health continued to rapidly decline and on 15 February 2014 he was granted a one-year “temporary suspension” of his prison sentence and transferred to Ho Chi Minh’s Oncology Hospital, where his wife reported that he was kept under close guard and 24-hour surveillance. An amnesty was granted on 21 March 2014 and he died at home on 3 April 2014.
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For further information please contact Cathy McCann at International PEN Writers in Prison Committee, Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, email: email@example.com