Cablegate: Early Release of Le Chi Quang

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. Hanoi 1649 B. 02 Hanoi 2718 C. 02 Hanoi 2708

1. (SBU) A reliable activist source has confirmed the
early release on June 12 of Le Chi Quang, who had been
sentenced by the Hanoi People's Court on November 8, 2002 to
a four year sentence (refs b and c) for alleged "acts of
propaganda" against the State. According to Vietnamese
media accounts, he had written a letter requesting clemency,
had expressed remorse during his time in prison, and had
promised not to break the law again. The Na Ham provincial
people's court approved the early release.

2. (SBU) Our source, who spoke by telephone with Quang on
June 14, reported that Quang said he was healthy. The
superintendent of Nam Ha (Ba Sao) prison, where Quang had
been held, confirmed to Pol/C on June 9 that Quang was in
good health and claimed that reports of Quang's kidney
ailments were not accurate (ref A). He did not indicate an
imminent release, however.

3. (U) Embassy had formally requested that DRL Assistant
Secretary Craner be allowed to meet with Quang, or other

prisoners of concern at Nam Ha prison, during his June 18
visit, which has now been postponed. Pol/C reiterated this
request directly to Vice Minister of Public Security Nguyen
Van Huong on June 14. Huong did not indicate that Quang had
already been released.

4. (SBU) Comment: The high likelihood is that this early
release was intended as a "gift" to A/S Craner, a theory
strongly believed also by our activist contact here.

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