27 February 2017
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  • » 01/27/2011, 00.00

    VIETNAM

    Con Dau Catholics sentence confirmed on appeal



    A sham trial in which the court did not even examined the evidence submitted by counsel for the six defendants, who this time had a lawyer. A story that smacks of corruption, exemplary of how the authorities to take advantage of rising land prices and violate the citizens’ rights.

    Hanoi (AsiaNews) – A sham trial has confirmed the sentences on appeal for the six accused in the Con Dau parish episode. The defendants entered the Danang People’s Court at 7.45 yesterday, Jan. 26, at 10.20 the sentence was read.

    Catholics in Vietnam had waited with mounting anticipation for the outcome of the appeal, not only those in Con Dau, since the story is an exemplary case of how authorities exploit the enormous growth in land values and violate the rights of citizens. In a story that wafts the scent of corruption, the faithful have been deprived of their homes, and even the cemetery of the parish to make way for a property investment. Beaten and arrested, during the trial they were denied the right to defense, their lawyers in turn, threatened and detained by police. The U.S. ambassador had cited the same Con Dau case as one that raises "suspicions about the administration and use of the law by the government."

    In the daysleading up to the appeal, prayer vigils were held, especially the parish of Thai Ha, in Hanoi, the victim of a similar story of expropriated land, police violence, prosecutions and convictions.

    This probably explains why the government press, reporting the trial, argued that the Court has reduced the sentences for two Catholics in prison. But it gives no further information.

    In fact, as reported by Eglises d'Asie, the court decided to release, Nguyen Huu Minh and Phan Thi Nhan, who had been held in prison. Now they are on conditional probabtion. But the first had only three months of his prison term left to serve, teh second had already served the full sentence. The other four, Nguyen Huu Liem, Le Thanh Lam, Tran Thi Thanh and Nguyen Viet Thê saw their sentence confirmed, on probation, as it was before.

    What was different about this trial was the presence of a defence lawyer, Huynh Van Dong. But only in a formal capacity. Ahead of the trial, in fact, the lawyer had claimed to have evidence of the total innocence of her clients and that she could demonstrate that the authorities had taken possession of the land to achieve their real estate projects. She claimed to have evidence, witnesses and even video of the May incident. But the court has not even taken the evidence into consideration.
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    See also

    27/10/2015 VIETNAM
    Ho Chi Minh City, Buddhists and Protestants defend Catholic school from demolition
    Local authorities had announced the destruction of the elementary school in Thu Thiem, run by the Sisters Lovers of the Holy Cross. More than 3 thousand people, including Buddhists, Protestants, Redemptorists and faithful of tribal religions, took part in a protest vigil: "These schools have brought benefits to the whole community." On October 25, the demolition was suspended.

    17/11/2015 VIETNAM
    Saigon, Catholic buildings targeted by communists. Nuns protest expropriation
    Three facilities belonging to the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross in Thu Thiem targeted by local administration. According to the agreement between the government and Catholic Church, buildings must accommodate schools. The district wants to change their intended use. The leadership of the local Church and the faithful beside the religious in their battle.

    20/05/2015 VIETNAM
    Hue priests and faithful defend Thien An monastery targeted by communist authorities
    The place of worship under attack by police and thugs hired by the local government. The government wants to seize the property and the park, which is home to a protected forest, to build an amusement park. Catholic students: "psychological terrorism to force the Church to sell the land."

    07/05/2010 VIETNAM
    59 Catholics from Con Dau arrested for accompanying funeral
    Letter From Bishop of Nagni, protesting and calling for release of the detained. The government denies the police attack, but admits that the land of the cemetery is no longer usable, since it is destined to become a "residential area".

    25/11/2008 VIETNAM
    Trial against eight Catholics from Thai Ha begins December 5
    The accusation is that they destroyed property and disturbed public order, but even the police left off the first charge initially. It refers to the toppling of a three-meter section of a wall, which the authorities then destroyed completely to create a public park.



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