28 November, 2015 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
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
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


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.