LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of Vietnam's most prominent dissidents said he was asked to sign a form seeking a pardon for spreading "propaganda against the state" before his release from prison last week, then forced onto a U.S.-bound flight with just the clothes on his body.
Nguyen Van Hai, who blogged under the name Dieu Cay, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he refused to sign the document because he didn't believe he had committed a crime.
He said authorities gave him no option but to leave for the United States.
"They rushed me directly from the jail to (Hanoi's) Noi Bai International Airport and escorted me onto the airplane. They didn't allow me to see my family before my departure. So we can't say they released me. If they had given me back my freedom, I could have gone back home instead of going directly to the airport without seeing my family and my friends."