Breaking News: Australian Activist For Terror Charges Jailed In Vietnam Released
Sydney Latest Updates: Vietnamese dissident Chau Van Kham, who holds Australian citizenship, has been freed after being jailed on terrorism charges in 2019. Following his release, he has returned to Sydney with his family. Chau Van Kham, a former opponent of the communists during the Vietnam War, had received a 12-year prison sentence in November 2019 after being arrested during a fact-finding mission in Vietnam. His solicitor, Dan Phuong Nguyen, confirmed the news of his release and expressed gratitude to well-wishers and the Australian government for their support. While the family is appreciative, they have requested privacy during this emotional time of reunion. The 74-year-old dissident was convicted of "terrorism against the People's Administration" and was detained while conducting human rights research and meeting with activists and civil society members. Australia's Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles, acknowledged Vietnam's decision to release Mr. Kham, attributing it to humanitarian grounds and the friendly relations between the two countries. He also emphasized the Australian government's ongoing advocacy efforts in securing his freedom.
A historic day unfolded as Chau Van Kham, an Australian citizen and former Navy serviceman, was released from prison, sparking applause from Amnesty International. The human rights organization celebrated the occasion, highlighting the global movement to free unjustly incarcerated individuals and the unwavering commitment of Australians to defending human rights. Chau Van Kham had been associated with the banned anti-government group Viet Tan since 2010, although the organization vehemently denies allegations of inciting violence and instead advocates for peaceful democratic change and social justice. Having fled Vietnam on a boat in 1983 following the fall of Saigon, Mr. Kham settled in Australia. The communist regime in Vietnam has a history of imprisoning its critics, and since 2016, a conservative government has intensified its crackdown on activists within the one-party state.