One day trail for Vietnamese descent held during protests

William Nguyen from Houston Texas was arrested June 10 during protests in the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City against a proposed law on special economic zones that many say would benefit Chinese investors

William Anh Nguyen, 32, is accused of "causing public disorder" during the mass protests, sparked by concerns that plans to develop economic zones in Vietnam by offering land leases for up to 99 years would be dominated by investors from China.

Friday morning, Nguyen is on a flight headed to Singapore, and ultimately back here to the United States. If convicted, Mr. Nguyen faces a possible sentence of 2 to 7 years in a Vietnamese jail and/or a fine.

A USA citizen arrested in Vietnam while taking part in a demonstration last month has been released from custody and is with his family, the State Department confirmed to NBC News on Friday. Nguyen, a graduate of Yale University, will even be allowed to return to Vietnam.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised Nguyen's case with Vietnamese officials during his visit to the communist country on July 9 and encouraged a speedy resolution, according to the State Department.

A court official said Nguyen, who is of Vietnamese descent, was given a lenient sentence because he admitted to the violation and showed remorse, The AP reported. It's unclear if they will demand a response by the USA, but Victoria Nguyen told ABC News last week there should be human rights sanctions on the country's government: "He was beaten and dragged..."

Houston native William Nguyen was arrested on June 10 just a day after arriving in Vietnam as a tourist, Bloomberg reports.

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In tweets posted from the rallies, Nguyen had described clashes between citizens and the police, but state media said the American student had also urged protesters to overrun police barricades as they marched toward the city center. The proposed SEZs have incited fear in Vietnamese citizens, as such laws could allow for Chinese encroachment on Vietnamese land, and a number of demonstrations against the proposal have taken place across major cities in Vietnam in recent weeks. Video footage of Nguyen shared on social media showed he had blood on his head during the June protest.

The Vietnamese state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper, quoting from the indictment, said Nguyen was accused of calling on other protesters to overrun police barricades as they marched from a park near the city's global airport to the city center, The AP reported.

But the Nguyen family had continually pressed the US government to do more to secure his immediate release, with his sister Victoria Nguyen telling ABC News last week they were frustrated that officials were "almost avoiding talking about it and being dismissive of my concerns or issues I've raised".

According to Nguyen's family and friends, he was only there to celebrate the right to free assembly.

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