Pregnant prisoner avoids execution
Two prison guards have been detained after a death-row inmate held in solitary confinement in Vietnam was found pregnant, state media reported on Friday.
Police investigators said the father of the unborn child was an inmate who delivered food to death-row prisoners, the Cong An Nhan Dan (People's Police) newspaper said.
The Police Ministry-run newspaper said the guards have been expelled from the police force and detained for 'abusing power' because they let the food deliveryman stay with the inmate in the death-row section of the jail.
Police doctors said tests last month confirmed that convicted heroin trafficker Nguyen Thi Oanh, 39, was then 11 weeks pregnant, while her husband was serving a jail sentence at another prison in another province.
Under Vietnamese law, death sentences for pregnant women must be commuted to life in prison.
Oanh's lawyer, Le Van Kien, was quoted on Friday by state-media as saying it was the first time a death-row prisoner had become pregnant in Vietnam.
Oanh was due to face a firing squad this year after losing her appeal against the death sentence she received last year for possession of one billion dong ($63,000) worth of heroin.
Trafficking more than 600 grams of heroin in Vietnam is punishable by death or life imprisonment.
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