BANGKOK, Thailand — Vietnam announced today it was freeing more than 1,000 former officials of the overthrown South Vietnamese government who had been held in "re-education" camps since the Communist victory in 1975.
The amnesties were among more than 9,000 granted to prisoners and detainees who were being released or having their terms reduced to mark Tet, the lunar new year falling on Feb. 17, said Vice Minister of Information Phan Quang.
"In execution of an order of the State Council, the Council of Ministers of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has decided to set free 1,014 former officers and officials of the Saigon puppet regime," the Vietnamese agency said.
Quang, quoted by the official Vietnam News Agency monitored in Bangkok, said the former officials included "quite a number" of generals, high-ranking officers, cabinet ministers, senators, and members of the lower house.
Quang said only about 150 former South Vietnamese officials will be left in the camps.