On Thursday (28 October) the South Vietnamese Government announced it would release 618 Viet Cong prisoners, held in various camps, during the coming week. 176 of these are believed in poor health.
GV POW's enter camp at Can Tho, followed by newsmen
LV Prisoners behind barbed wire
GV Prisoners in compound
LV Prisoners play basketball
GV Large group N. Vietnamese prisoners (4 shots)
SV INT POW's in hospital
CU Saline drip, PAN TO prisoner on bed (2 shots)
SV POW on stage
SV POW's prepare food
GVs Prisoners work in field (4 shots)
CU American officers
CU Prison guard
CU Prisoners and guard (4 shots)
Initials BB/2206 OJP/AW/BB/2231
This NBC coverage was filmed when newsmen were taken on a tour of the Can Tho Camp...one of six in the country...last Thursday (28 Oct.).
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: On Thursday (28 October) the South Vietnamese Government announced it would release 618 Viet Cong prisoners, held in various camps, during the coming week. 176 of these are believed in poor health. Their release is intended to celebrate the inauguration of President Nguyen van Thieu and National Day (31 October) in South Vietnam.
SYNOPSIS: The Can Tho Prisoner-of War Camp in the Southern Delta of South Vietnam...one of six operated by the South Vietnamese Government.
Last Thursday journalists and cameramen were invited on a tour of the camp...a tour which was to coincide with an announcement from the Government that 618 Viet Cong prisoners, some from each of the camps, are to be released during the coming week.
There are 3,000 prisoners in Can Tho, most of them captured Viet Cong whose homes are in the Delta area....but this group is made up chiefly of North Vietnamese. Reporters have rarely been allowed to see inside these camps, and Thursday's tour is thought to have been timed to give the Saigon release announcement extra publicity. Of the 618 prisoners due for release, at least 176 are believed in poor health.
Can Tho prisoners enjoy recreation centre facilities, cook their own food, and even grow some of it. The prison fields are regularly cultivated and planted in several crops.
Newsmen were allowed to see only those parts of the camp decided by the Commander. The releases are to begin on Sunday, which is National Day, and also marks the inauguration of President Nguyen van Thieu.