30 July, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/09/2013
VIETNAM
Catholic activists in Nghe An get up to 13 years in prison
by Joseph Dang
Three defendants are sentenced to 13 years in prison. The others get between three and eight. An appeal is made to the United Nations against the arbitrary conviction. US scholar says the situation for non-violent social and political activists is getting worse.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - After a two-day trial, the People's Court in Nghe An (central Vietnam) convicted all 14 Catholic defendants on charges of subversion against the state. All of them could have received the death penalty. The court instead sentenced three-Hồ Đức Hòa, Đặng Xuân Diệu, Lê Văn Sơn-to 13 years in prison. The other 11 received sentences ranging from three to eight years.

For many Catholic groups in Vietnam, the harsh sentence is intended to limit freedom of expression. In fact, the 14 Catholics were accused of membership in Viet Tan, a non-violent group that supports democracy, which the authorities describe as "terrorist".

People who attended the trial said the defenders told the court that their action was only meant to help people by informing them about corrupt party and government officials who enriched themselves during the recent financial crisis.

For some Catholics, who were not allowed inside the courtroom (pictured), the trial was "immoral".

It is the culmination of a campaign launched by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung against dissidents and bloggers who use the internet to spread their views.

Some suggest that the prime minister has even set quotas for the number of Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, to be arrested in order to strike at the community. Some of the people arrested were apparently picked up randomly by police, some during Mass in church.

The lawyers representing the 14 Catholics on trial complained that their clients were tortured and forced into confessing to crimes they did not commit.

Of the group of 14 on trial, 11 belong to a group that sent an appeal to a United Nations group against arbitrary detention.

Last week, Stanford University Law professor Allan Weiner filed an update on the group's petition to the United Nations, saying their cases highlighted Vietnamese government's "increasing reliance on detention powers as a means of suppressing established international human rights."

Their case shows how conditions for those engaged in non-violent political and social activism in Vietnam are "deteriorating," he added.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/31/2012 VIETNAM
Fourteen Catholic activists could get the death penalty in Vietnam
by Joseph Dang
01/30/2010 VIETNAM
Vietnam, dissident Pham Thanh Nghien sentenced to 7 years
by Nguyen Hong
01/21/2010 VIETNAM
Ho Chi Minh City, sentences dissidents accused of subversion to five to 16 years
11/29/2008 VIETNAM
Hanoi's policy: eliminate Catholics
by Thanh Thuy
04/04/2011 VIETNAM
Tens of thousands of Catholics in Vietnam support sentenced dissident
by J.B. An Dang

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.