Vietnamese authorities have released Catholic blogger Paulus Le Van Son and Protestant activist Nguyen Van Oai, says Asia News. Both served four-year prison terms for ‘trying to overthrow the legitimate government’.
The final entries in Van Son’s blog were about prayer vigils, but Reporters Without Borders said at the time of his arrest that Van Son had been blogging about anti-Chinese demonstrations, and, on the eve of his arrest, had attended the hearing of well-known dissident, Cu Huy Ha Vu. Van Son had also been arrested earlier in 2011 while on his way to attend Ha Vu’s trial.
Van Son and Van Oai were arrested during a 2011 crackdown against bloggers and others with ties to human and religious rights groups, Asia News reported. Radio Free Asia (RFA) said authorities detained them without warrants and gave them limited access to lawyers. Van Oai told RFA that security personnel had recently been pressuring him to plead guilty and even sign a confession.
The communist nation ranks 16th on Open Door’s World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.