» 09/25/2012, 00.00
Paul N. Hung
Catholics to pray for three bloggers unfairly given harsh prison sentences
Sentences range between 4 and 12 years in jail, plus probation. Redemptorists celebrate Mass for the prisoners. US State Department complains the accused simply exercised their right to free speech. Human Rights Watch protests, calls on the authorities to listen to the people and to its critics.
To please Beijing, Hanoi jails three activists on false charges
The blogger Bui Thi Minh Hang, leader of the protests against China's imperialist policies, is sentenced to three years prison. Police arrest dozens of activists outside the courtroom, then they beat them up in the barracks. The convictions coincide with a senior government officials visit to Beijing.
Tens of thousands of Catholics in Vietnam support sentenced dissident
Cu Huy Ha Vu, a lawyer and activist, was sentenced to seven years in prison and a further three years of house arrest for having challenged the government on pollution of mines and single party rule. His trial was not public, as the government had promised. Prayer vigils for him in Hanoi, Saigon and other parts of the country. Catholic bloggers and activists arrested.
Hanoi mayor wants to drive Redemptorists out of town
In a letter to Vietnam’s bishops and the order’s provincial superior Nguyen The Thao demands the Redemptorists be moved “out of the area of the capital.” Three months ago he wanted the archbishop out of the capital. For ordinary people, the trial against Thai Ha parishioners has turned them into heroes, with the authorities now facing the trial of public opinion.
Catholics, arrested for supporting Cu Huy Ha Vu, released
Lawyer Le Quoc Quan also released, although state media had announced that all those arrested would be prosecuted. Immediately after release, the lawyer and his wife went to some churches in Hanoi had to give thanks for their support.
Vietnamese bishops ask government to "explain" Con Dau situation
President of Justice and Peace intervenes to ask "why the government is putting the peaceful parishioners Con Dau in the current tragic situation, which has resulted in one death, numerous arrests, others who have lost all their property and dozens of people who have had to flee to other countries".
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