HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A prominent Vietnamese blogger who is partially paralysed and was jailed two months ago for posting articles that oppose the Communist Party said Wednesday he was released from prison on medical parole.
Blogger and writer Nguyen Quang Lap, 58, said he was still being investigated for allegedly spreading propaganda against the Communist government. Lap often reposts other bloggers’ political and social writings critical of the government.
In 2001, Lap suffered brain injuries in a traffic accident that paralysed the left side of his body. He needs a cane to walk and relies on family members to help with his daily needs, his wife, Ho Thi Hong, said in a letter to police after his Dec 6 detention that requested medical parole for her husband.
Lap said he was released Tuesday and allowed to return to his home in Ho Chi Minh City,
“In prison, I can’t help myself with daily needs, I’m guessing that is why they released me on bail but I’m still being investigated. I am not free,” Lap said Wednesday by telephone from his home. He declined to give more details.
State-run Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted Major General Le Dong Phong, Ho Chi Minh City’s chief security investigator, as saying that police changed their prevention measure from detaining Lap to putting him under house arrest because of Lap’s “sincere confession” for having committed acts that violate the law.
International human rights groups and some Western governments, including the United States, have criticised Vietnam for jailing people for peacefully expressing their views. Hanoi maintains that only law breakers are put behind bars.
Several bloggers have been detained in recent months, but Vietnam last year released about a dozen prisoners of conscience.