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Vietnam releases well-known dissident lawyer from prison early for good behavior

Vietnamese authorities have released a well-known dissident lawyer from prison early even as the Communist government cracks down harder on activists.

The online newspaper VnExpress says Le Cong Dinh was freed on Wednesday for his "good abidance by prison rules."

Dinh was arrested in 2009 and sentenced to five years in prison for conspiring to overthrow the government. He served three and a half years.

The report says his sentence was cut by six months twice previously.

Dinh's release comes as a government crackdown on dissent has intensified, with 35 activists given lengthy jail terms for subversion over the past month.

Western governments have criticized Vietnam for jailing people for peacefully expressing their views. Hanoi maintains that only lawbreakers are locked behind bars.