Ed Royce

Ahead of Obama Vietnam visit, wife of prisoner seeks US help

The wife of a prominent Vietnamese human rights lawyer who was badly beaten by thugs and then detained by authorities appealed Tuesday for President Barack Obama to seek her husband's freedom when he visits Vietnam this month.

Vu Minh Khanh testified before a House panel. Hours earlier, the White House formally announced Obama's trip to Vietnam in late May, a sign of deepening relations four decades after the end of the Vietnam War.

But human rights remain a sore point. The authoritarian state is estimated to have about 100 political prisoners although it denies holding any.

Two Republican lawmakers called for Obama to demand the release of the detained lawyer, Nguyen...