5 May, 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


» 07/31/2012
VIETNAM
Catholic dissident’s mother sets herself on fire. Anger and bewilderment of Vietnamese
by J.B. An Dang
Dang Thi Kim Lieng's self-immolation in front of government offices in the southern province of Bac Lieu. Her daughter Maria Ta Phong Tan, a former policewoman converted to Christianity, is in jail awaiting trial. She faces up to 20 years in prison for propaganda against the state. Human rights activists and bloggers: specious accusations.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - The Vietnamese Catholic community is in shock over the death of Dang Thi Kim Lieng, mother of Mary Ta Phong Tan (pictured), a famous dissident in jail awaiting trial who faces up to 20 years in prison. The woman set herself on fire in front of government offices in the southern province of Bac Lieu, to protest against abuses by the prison authorities who hold her daughter, depriving her of basic rights. The mother died from severe wounds inflicted by the flames sparking the reaction of many bloggers in the country, who accuse the Communist Party and government leaders of a policy of repression and of systematically violating the freedom of religion and thought, with trumped-up charges including "spreading propaganda against the state."

Without saying a word to family and friends, Dang Thi Kim Lieng went to the government offices in the province of Bac Lieu and self-immolated. Activists and lawyers who fight for human rights in Vietnam say that the woman died during her transport to the hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. However, neither police nor the official authorities have commented on the case or confirmed the event. Some relatives report that Dang recently appeared very concerned about the fate of her daughter Maria Ta Phong Tan, locked in a prison in the former Saigon, whom she has not seen since last September, the date of her arrest. The police maintain she is guilty of "subversive activities" and of having written "slander" published online, discrediting the Hanoi government and the Communist Party.

The hearing in court against Mary Tan, 44, should begin on 7 August and there is a very real possibility she will be sentenced to decades in prison. She is a former police officer well known in Vietnam, because she denounced abuses and distortions of the prison system online (see AsiaNews 17/04/2012 Vietnamese government tries three bloggers for writing about strikes and justice). Her decision to convert to Catholicism also weighs against her, after an adolescence and childhood characterized by continuous "brainwashing" in Communist ideology. However, her encounter with a lawyer and activist for human rights sparked her desire to rediscover the faith that, over time, led her to baptism.

The Vietnamese government has implemented tight control over religious activities, and Catholics are often victims of violence and abuse, both individuals and entire communities. Among the many examples are the Montagnards in the Central Highlands and the Redemptorist Fathers, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, whose pastoral commitment is choked with systematic regularity. However, this violence did not prevent them from playing a key role in the spread of Catholicism and the teachings of the Church, especially among the poor and the abandoned (see AsiaNews 05/08/2011 Redemptorists teach Church's social doctrine in Ho Chi Minh City).

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
08/03/2012 VIETNAM
Hanoi censors and patrols funeral of Catholic dissident’s mother
10/10/2013 VIETNAM
Hanoi, Catholic lawyer meets with relatives in prison and announces appeal against conviction
01/28/2014 VIETNAM
Hanoi, date set for Catholic lawyer and dissident, Le Quoc Quan’s appeal
02/14/2005 CHINA
Dissident arrested, disappears
02/10/2014 VIETNAM
Imprisoned Catholic lawyer on hunger strike. Human Rights groups pressure Hanoi
by HT

Editor's choices
NEPAL – ASIA
Nepal earthquake: Church and international community coming to the aid of survivorsThe Italian Bishops’ Conference has pledged € 3 million in emergency medical assistance. The South Korean Church has allocated funds for the displaced. India, Pakistan and China are already on the ground. A Chinese airline has hiked ticket fares to evacuate its nationals. Israel is selective in its help, airlifting 25 children of surrogate mothers and gay couples.
VATICAN
Pope prays for Nepal quake victims, hopes they receive "fraternal solidarity"A good shepherd is like Christ, someone who “is a guide, who participates in the life of His flock. He pursues no other interests, for He has no other ambition but to lead, nurture and protect his sheep. All of this comes at the highest price, that of the sacrifice of His own life.” When the pope met the crowd at the window of his study, two new priests stood by his side.
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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.