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    » 03/30/2007, 00.00

    VIETNAM

    Catholic Priest, Fr. Nguyen Van Ly, condemned to 8 years in prison

    Nguyen Van Tranh

    4 other members of the Progression Party are condemned along with him. The Hanoi government arrests and suppresses dissidents and human rights campaigners.

    Huê (AsiaNews) – A Vietnamese court has sentenced dissident Catholic priest Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly to eight years in prison for anti-government activities. Fr. Van Ly, has already spent 14 of the past 24 years in prison and has been under house arrest since February.  4 other people, 2 men and 2 women, were also sentenced to jail terms ranging from 6 months to 1 and a half  years.  

    60 year old Fr. Van Ly, is accused of being a founding member of Bloc 8406, a pro-democracy movement launched last April. He is also a member of the Progression Party of Vietnam.

    His fellow accused have all admitted to being members of this party. They are:  Nguyen Phong, 32 and Nguyen Binh Thanh, 51, both from Huê; the women Le Thi Le Hang, 44 i, from Huê, and Hoang Thi Anh Dao, 21  from Gialai (montagnard).

    The trial lasted a single day. Fr. Van Ly, in handcuffs, refused to stand up before the court, shouting, “Down with the Vietnamese Communist Party!”. As a result police officers covered his mouth and dragged him from the courts, to a room where a video link was set up with the trial. 

    In an unusually open gesture, authorities allowed the press to follow excerpts of the trail via video.  However when Fr. Van Ly shouted, the link was cut.

    Hanoi has long been attempting to promote an image of  openness to the world, following its membership of the World Trade Organization. But its’ progress is limited, and the ban on parties and organizations opposed to the Communist’s political monopoly remains.   

    In recent months police have arrested democratic dissidents. Among these Nguyen Van Dai and  Le Thi Cong Nhan, two human rights lawyers arrested on March 6th because they were found to be distributing material “dangerous to the State”.

     

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    See also

    01/09/2009 VIETNAM
    No pardon for Father Ly on Vietnamese National Day
    The head of the Hanoi government security states that the priest has not made progress in "reeducation". He was sentenced on charges of being behind a movement for democracy and of supporting illegal groups.

    24/03/2016 09:32:00 VIETNAM
    Hanoi: Catholic blogger sentenced to five years for "defamation of the Party"

    Nguyen Huu Vinh was arrested in 2014 and charged with having "violated the state's interests." His assistant sentenced to three years in prison. Both say they are innocent. The "Ba Sam" blog published articles and essays against the Hanoi government, getting millions of views.

     



    16/04/2012 VIETNAM
    Hanoi authorities and police assault Catholic orphanage, a priest in a coma
    The raid took place shortly after midnight on April 14. Structure devastated, children beaten, Fr. Nguyen Van Binh, who spoke out in defense of the young guests seriously injured,. He was admitted unconscious, then taken to the archdiocesan curia. The faithful denounce the latest violation of religious freedom.

    03/06/2011 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese priests who follow the Communist party elected to parliament. The faithful are angry.
    The Election Commission has released the results of the 22 May general elections. Two priests will sit in the National Assembly, five more will take position at the provincial level. The decision, contrary to the directives of the bishops, undermines "the credibility of the Church." The youth are angry for the "scandal."

    02/09/2011 VIETNAM
    Hanoi, families of imprisoned Catholics appeal to religious leaders to pray for their release
    Ten families in the province of Nghe An have written a letter to Catholic, Protestant and Buddhist leaders. They ask for help and prayer, to secure the release of their children "kidnapped" by police. Masses and vigils across the country for religious freedom in Vietnam. Reporters Without Borders and Redemptorists support the Catholic parents struggle.



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