A dissident Vietnamese blogger known by her pen name 'Mother Mushroom' has arrived in the United States after her surprise release from prison, telling a large crowd of supporters she will "never keep silent" in her fight for democracy in the one-party state.
Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 39, was quietly freed from a jail on Wednesday in Vietnam and put on a plane with her elderly mother and two young children who were seen smiling and hugging her in images shared on social media.
Her unexpected release after two years behind bars came as US defence chief Jim Mattis visited Vietnam as part of warming ties between the former foes, who are eager to counter China's rising influence in Asia.
Neither the Pentagon nor the Vietnamese government commented on the timing of Quynh's release, though the US embassy in Hanoi said they welcomed the move.
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