02/26/2007, 00.00
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Police in Huế indicts Father Ly

The decision is announced after e building that is part of the Bishop’s residence is searched. Charges include sabotage against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Vietnamese police has indicted Vietnamese priest Fr Nguyen Van Ly for sabotage against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Father Ly has already spent ten years in prison for his battles in defence of religious freedom.

According to the Tuoi Tre newspaper, police decided to formally charge the clergyman on Saturday in Huế where he lived.

Last week Églises d’Asie, citing “a source close to Father Ly,” said that his residence in the Nha Chung building, which is part of the Bishops’ residential compound, was searched on February 18. The same compound is home to the bishop himself as well as some priests, Father Ly included. Vietnam’s news agency said he was suspected of violating the law.

Around 8 pm the building was surrounded by some 60 officers and the phone lines were cut. A team of agents led by a colonel specialised in religious affairs entered the premises and searched Father Ly’s room, breaking into a cupboard he had refused to unlock.

The archbishop’s secretary was present as a witness.

Six laptop computers and six cellphones belonging to Father Ly and his aides were confiscated along with many documents.

According to Reporters Without Borders, police also arrested two other priests along with Father Ly, accusing them of editing Tu do Ngôn luan (Free Speech), an underground magazine.

The same source said that Father Ly was placed under compulsory residence in an isolated parish.

The police actions have come not much after the government published a white paper on religious freedom in the country and Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng visited the Vatican on January 25 in which he discussed the normalisation of diplomatic relations with Holy See officials.

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See also
Catholic seminarians work for the first time in state-run leprosarium
Diplomatic relations and Church property part of discussions the Holy See delegation held in Hanoi
Fr Nguyen Van Ly arrested in Huế
Bishop of Ban Me Thuot to renew the mission among the Montagnards
Bishops deny president’s statement about Fr Nguyễn văn Lý’s trial


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