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Inmates look on from behind a barred window of a cell as they wave to released inmates at Hoang Tien prison outside Hanoi on Aug. 30, 2013
Nguyen Huy Kham—Reuters

Four Vietnamese prison guards have been suspended for negligence after a detained female drug trafficker became pregnant in an attempt to avoid the death penalty.

Nguyen Thi Hue, 42, is expected to give birth in April after inseminating herself in August 2015 with semen she bought from a fellow inmate at a northern Vietnamese prison, the English-language website of the state-owned Thanh Nien newspaper reported.

Investigators she paid the 27-year-old inmate the equivalent of more than $2,200.

Under Vietnamese law, pregnant women or women whose children are younger than three years old cannot be legally executed, only sentenced to life in prison.

Female inmates have exploited this loophole before, Thanh Nien said. In 2007, a drug smuggler gave birth on death row after having sex with another inmate. She avoided the death penalty; two corrections officers were jailed for permitting the intercourse to take place.

[Thanh Nien]

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