Amnesty International is happy to report that Father Ly was released from prison on February 1, 2005, as part of a general amnesty to mark Tet, the Lunar New Year. More than 8,000 prisoners were reportedly included in the amnesty, although few political prisoners benefited from it. In addition to Father Ly, Amnesty International has confirmed the release of three other prisoners of conscience -- Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, Thich Thien Minh, and Nguyen Dinh Huy. Each of these men had been the subject of action by AIUSA.
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Iran: Jailed Artist on Hunger Strike (UA 49/15)
Iranian prisoner of conscience and painter, Atena Farghadani, has been on a hunger strike, protesting her detention, since 9 February and is now critically ill. She has been held for her peaceful activities including a cartoon criticizing members of parliament.