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    » 01/15/2010, 00.00

    VIETNAM

    Authorities deny attack on the parishioners of Dong Chiem



    The vice president of the local People's Committee said that the cross was destroyed had been built illegally on public land and that the parish has rejected attempts to dialogue. But the archbishop of Hanoi insists that the hill has belonged to the church for more than one hundred years and the head of the Communist Party of Dong Chiem confirms the raid on the faithful.

    Hanoi (AsiaNews) - After being subjected to insults and beatings, the parishioners of Dong Chiem now see  the attack being denied. Vice-Chairman of the People's Committee of My Duc, Nguyen Van Hau, speaking to the state  VNA agency has denied that "local authorities attacked the faithful."  

    Hau gave a reconstruction of the story, saying that the cross blown up with explosives had been "illegally built" on the hill called Nui Tho. "The construction violates land laws" and the hill, he said, lies not on parish land, but on that of the People's Committee of An Phu. "The construction of the cross without the permission of the responsible authorities – he concluded- is a violation of the ordinance on belief and religion."

    In the official reconstruction, "local authorities attempted to resolve the issue with a series of discussions with the parish from March to December, but found no cooperation."  

    Following a script that has been used in the past, yesterday's newspaper, the New Hanoi, requested the immediate and severe punishment of those responsible for "false allegations" designed to "distort the social, political and economic situation of Vietnam and denounce human rights violations by the government. "  

    In response to the authority’s assertion, Father John Le Trong Cung, vice-chancellor of the archdiocese of Hanoi, reaffirmed that "the hill has always been on parish grounds since its inception, more than one hundred years ago." "The crucifix - added the parish priest, Father Nguyen Van Huu – has been there for years. Last year we only consolidated, but it was already there. "  

    Of not was the report written by the head of the Communist Party of Dong Chiem, Lieu, who confirmed the attack on the parishioners and disagreed with the destruction of the cross.

     
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    See also

    12/01/2010 VIETNAM
    In Dong Chiem Catholics beaten, a journalist wounded and a priest threatened
    Attacked by uniformed and plainclothes police, who took his camera, the reporter was abandoned unconscious and bleeding in the street. Solidarity of the bishops of North Vietnam for Father Van Lien, accused by authorities of inducing"the faithful to commit crimes."

    26/02/2010 VIETNAM
    Sisters assaulted and beaten by police in Dong Chiem
    The sisters were attacked by plain clothes police, their guide ends up in hospital. The Bishops conference requests the correction of a news report published by the official agency according to which they had sent New Year greetings to the Patriotic Front, the Communist Party organization.

    14/01/2010 VIETNAM
    Dong Chiem is becoming a "Mount of Crosses"
    The police have poured reinforcements and set up roadblocks to stop the pilgrimages of the faithful to the spot where the crucifix was destroyed, but people still manage to pass and erect other crosses on the hill. Demonstrations and protest.

    09/01/2010 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese bishops accuse the government crackdown on the destruction of the crucifix
    The brutal attack on the crucifix of the cemetery in Hanoi and the destruction of sacred symbols "ingredients of the policies" of the communist regime in resolving disputes. The bishops call for dialogue to find a peaceful solution. The faithful build a new bamboo cross; the police arrest five Catholics and close down the site.

    29/01/2010 VIETNAM
    Police use sledge hammers on home of lawyer who denounced the Vietnamese premier
    The lawyer accused the prime minister of having violated the law, allowing Chinese companies to exploit the bauxite deposits in the Central Highlands. The incident takes place in a climate of violent repression by the authorities also against Catholics, among whom there is a growing concern.



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