June 27, 2015

"It would be good if the US government uses some of its much talked about leverage to demand that from now on Vietnam stops harassing Quan and lets him exercise his rights without further interference or retaliation."

The Star One of Vietnam's most prominent dissidents vowed to continue his anti-China activism after being released from prison on Saturday after serving two and a half years on tax evasion charges. via AFP

'Le Quoc Quan, a Catholic blogger and lawyer from the communist nation, was freed from jail early Saturday in central Quang Nam province and met by family members who had long campaigned for his release.

'"I am very happy," he told AFP in his first interview since being freed, saying he would head straight to a hospital for a health check before spending time with his loved ones.

'The 43-year-old had been on hunger strike five times in prison with the most recent stint of 14-days ending on June 24.

'In a characteristically defiant mood, Quan promised to continue the anti-Beijing activism that first attracted the ire of authorities.

'"I have become very concerned again about invasions of China on Vietnamese sovereignty regarding the island," he told AFP in English, referring to construction and land reclamation by Beijing in the South China Sea.'

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