On July 30, 2012, the mother of political prisoner Ta Phong Tan burned herself to death at a government building in despair over her daughter’s imprisonment. This is the fifth anniversary of her death. This is what life is like as a prisoner of conscience in Vietnam: Isolation. Withholding of newspapers and letters from family, denial of menstruation supplies, visits from lawyers, medical treatment and even light. “Prisons within prisons,” an Amnesty International

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