Vietnam frees American activist after 9 months - Jan 30th, 2013 - International

— Vietnamese authorities have released and deported a Vietnamese-American activist detained since April on accusations of conspiring to overthrow the government.

A Foreign Ministry statement says Nguyen Quoc Quan had "confessed to his crime" and asked for leniency to be reunited with his family. He was arrested in April and released today. Authorities originally accused him of terrorism but later downgraded the charges to subversion.

The United States has been calling on Vietnam to release the 59-year-old, who supporters say is a nonviolent advocate of democratic reforms in Vietnam.