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Fate of Jailed American Hangs Over Pompeo's Visit to Vietnam

  • North Korea, China and U.S.-Vietnam relations on the agenda
  • U.S. citizen arrested during June protests in Ho Chi Minh City
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on July 7, 2018.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on July 7, 2018.

Photographer: Andrew Harnik/AFP

The fate of an American arrested almost a month ago during a rare protest in Vietnam is likely to be raised by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after he touches down Sunday in Hanoi to meet leaders of the communist government.

Houston native William Nguyen was detained June 10 during a Ho Chi Minh City protest against proposed special economic zones that Vietnamese fear will lead to Chinese encroachment and cybersecurity legislation they believe will curb online freedoms. In a police video broadcast on state television last month, Nguyen acknowledged that he violated Vietnamese law and expressed “regret” for disrupting traffic and promised not to participate in activities against the government.