U.S. wants Vietnam to release some prisoners in coming weeks

Reuters News
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Posted: May 15, 2015 12:09 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States wants Vietnam to release some "prisoners of conscience" in the coming weeks as the U.S. Congress weighs its approach to a Pacific Rim trade treaty, a senior U.S. rights official said on Friday.

"In the short term, we would like to see, of course, prisoners of conscience released," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski told reporters.

"We want to see things moving in the right direction in Vietnam, not in the wrong direction," he added, saying Vietnam now held just over 100 such prisoners, down from just over 160 in 2013.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Will Dunham)