U.S. Embassy’s Statement on Lieng Self-immolation

August 1, 2012 – We were deeply concerned and saddened to hear of Ms. Dang Thi Kim Lieng’s July 30 self-immolation reportedly related to circumstances surrounding the detention of her daughter Ta Phong Tan.

Vietnamese authorities arrested Tan in September 2011, and she is scheduled to be tried August 7 along with fellow founding members of the “Free Journalists Club” Dieu Cay and Phan Thanh Hai.  A Vietnamese Court has charged all three defendants with violating Article 88, which applies vaguely worded provisions to stifle free and open debate.  We call upon the Government of Vietnam to release all three immediately and, as President Obama said on World Press Freedom Day, “take the necessary steps to create a society where journalists can operate freely and without fear.”

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