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By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
Topic - Quoc Quan
A court in Vietnam has upheld the conviction of a popular human rights lawyer and dissident on tax evasion charges, drawing a swift rebuke from the Obama administration.
Vietnamese authorities on Wednesday released and deported an American pro-democracy activist detained since April, a move that contrasts with the long prison terms given to Vietnamese activists who are members of the same U.S.-based dissident group.
The 7-iron resting against the wall in Le Quoc Quan's office is for self-defense, not sport. The human-rights lawyer and blogger has not left home without the golf club since being beaten last month by iron-bar-wielding men he suspects were sent by the police.
From combined dispatches
The distinguished lawyer, Le Quoc Quan, who has American ties, was arrested in December after he wrote a column for the BBC's website in which he argued for a new constitution without a guarantee of a Communist Party monopoly.
"There will be more arrests, more protests, but that is OK," Quan said. "It will bring change."