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ALLEN PRAISES RELEASE OF HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST IN VIETNAM

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator George Allen (R-VA) today made the following statement on the release of human rights activist Dr. Nguyen Dan Que from prison in Vietnam:

"I am heartened to learn of the release of political prisoners in Vietnam like Dr. Que who was imprisoned for the so-called crime of 'abusing democratic rights to infringe upon the interests of the State'.

"While I am glad the government of Vietnam has chosen to free Dr. Que as a part of the Tet Amnesty, it is imperative that we not forget that he never should have been imprisoned in the first place.

"His family, both in Vietnam and in Virginia, has every reason to be proud of this strong and principled man. Dr. Que has been a voice for justice and human rights in Vietnam and his non-violent efforts to expose the abuses of the Vietnam government should be applauded by freedom loving people around the world," said Senator Allen.

Senator Allen has long been involved in efforts to secure Dr. Que's release from prison. He has secured meetings with Vietnam's Ambassador to the U.S. to advocate for this release and has nominated Dr. Que for the Nobel Peace Prize for the last 3 consecutive years.

In addition, Senator Allen helped arrange meetings between Dr. Que's brother, who lives in Virginia, with the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam to discuss issues surrounding Que's incarceration.

Senator Allen hopes to meet or speak with Dr. Que and his family in the near future.

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