Vietnam to free more than 10,000 prisoners

AP News
Posted: Aug 29, 2011 1:44 AM
Vietnam to free more than 10,000 prisoners

Vietnam's president has ordered more than 10,000 prisoners freed as part of the country's annual National Day amnesty.

Five of those had been convicted of national security crimes, but no high-profile dissidents were included. Three were ethnic minorities from the restive Central Highlands.

Eleven of the 10,535 inmates being freed are foreigners, including nationals of the United States, Canada and Australia. National Day is Sept. 2.

Vietnam has been criticized by the United States and European Union for jailing political and religious dissidents. The Communist country does not tolerate any form of dissent and often uses national security laws to convict those deemed a threat.