Hanoi, Viet Nam, Jun 25 – A Vietnamese blogger with French citizenship has been deported to Paris, the wife of the former political prisoner said Sunday, in a rare move by authorities in the one-party state.
Former math lecturer Pham Minh Hoang was put on a plane to Paris late Saturday, after the Vietnamese government stripped him of his citizenship last month.
“My husband left Vietnam at 11:30 last night, on a direct flight to Paris,” Le Thi Kieu Oanh told AFP Sunday.
Oanh said Hoang was granted access to a lawyer before boarding the plane, but that she was not given a chance to see him.
“I feel totally defeated… when my husband left, I couldn’t say any farewell words, I also feel very angry,” she said.
The French Embassy in Hanoi also confirmed Hoang departed on Saturday evening.
While authoritarian Vietnam routinely jails critics of its regime, 62-year-old Hoang is the first Vietnam-based dissident to have his citizenship revoked in recent history.
Hoang found out his Vietnamese citizenship had been revoked after he was sent a letter dated May 17 and signed by the president.
He was convicted in 2011 of “attempted subversion” for publishing a series of articles that prosecutors said were aimed at overthrowing the government.
He was released from jail after 17 months and ordered to serve three years house arrest. He continued to post articles critical of the government on social media since he was released from jail.
Hoang moved to France in 1973 and lived there for 27 years before returning to Vietnam to work as a mathematics lecturer at the Polytechnic University of Ho Chi Minh City.
He told AFP this month he had to stay in Vietnam to care for his disabled brother and elderly mother in law.