An Orange County man wrongly jailed for 27 months in Vietnam for alleged actions to overthrow the government is home and, in his first public remarks Wednesday, thanked the community of residents and legislators who fought for his safe return.
Michael Nguyen, 57, a native of Vietnam, appeared at a virtual news conference, with his wife, Helen, by his side and in front of the American flag, to read from a long statement. Nguyen, who landed on U.S. soil Sunday, said that what he endured “was nothing compared to the grace I received from God, through so many of you.”
In July 2018, Nguyen was visiting relatives and traveling in Da Nang when strangers in civilian clothes pulled him off a tour bus, blindfolded him and took him away without offering a reason. Months later, Vietnamese authorities told U.S. Embassy officials they were investigating him on allegations of violating Article 109 of the criminal code, citing his activities and “violent measures” against the communist government.
Nguyen was reluctant to offer more details on his imprisonment and release, citing earlier instructions from the U.S. State Department that warned family members not to “compromise his case.”
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