Pro-democracy Vietnamese priest jailed again

.- Authorities re-arrested Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, one of Vietnam's most outspoken dissidents, at a home for retired priests on July 25.

“We heard that at 2:30 p.m. police cars and an ambulance arrived at Nha Chung to arrest Priest Ly,” said Fr. Phan Van Loi in an interview with Radio Free Asia.

In March 2010, authorities granted the 63-year-old priest one year of medical leave from an eight-year sentence to seek treatment for a brain tumor, according to the Bangkok Post.

BBC News has reported that Fr. Ly's medical condition at the time of this week's arrest was unclear.

The priest is known for his peaceful protest of the communist state and its violations of human rights. He is a founding member of Bloc 8406 – the first well-organized pro-democracy group in his country, where many Catholics suffer because of communism.

In 2007 he stood trial for spreading anti-communist propaganda, and received a sentence of eight years in prison and five years of house arrest. The 2007 trial made headlines when Fr. Ly was forcibly muzzled after beginning to recite an anti-communist poem in court.

The government suspended Fr. Ly's prison sentence in 2009, following pressure from a group of 37 U.S. senators to release the priest after he suffered multiple strokes in jail.

The senators called Fr. Ly's trial “seriously flawed” in their 2009 letter, explaining that he was “denied access to counsel and precluded from presenting a defense” during the four-hour proceeding.

Fr. Ly has spent a combined total of more than 15 years in prison since 1977.

Although Vietnam's constitution provides for freedom of belief and religion, that constitutional right continues “to be subject to uneven interpretation and protection,” according to the U.S. State Department's 2010 International Religious Freedom Report.

Catholics account for seven percent of Vietnam's population. Along with other religious minorities, they have faced beatings, church raids, arrests and death for activities thought to challenge the authority of the government.

The question of property rights has been particularly contentious since 1975. In that year, the government began seizing Church properties, including schools and hospitals, and incorporating them into the state system. Although the government has returned some of the property, most ownership disputes remain unresolved.

In July 2009, Vietnam's government seized and demolished a Redemptorist monastery after ignoring years of petitions by the order. In May 2010, thousands of Catholics gathered to celebrate Mass on the site of a church that the government converted to a war memorial in 1996. Six Catholics were arrested in 2010 for protesting the government's development of a cemetery into an ecotourism resort.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: