Thirty-seven U.S. Senators call for release of Vietnamese priest Fr. Ly
Father Ly on trial in 2007
Father Ly on trial in 2007
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- On Wednesday 37 members of the U.S. Senate called on President Nguyen Minh Triet to release Fr. Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, a longtime human rights advocate.

The bipartisan group of Senators, led by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) cited “serious flaws” concerning the priest’s arrest, trial and imprisonment. They asked the Vietnamese president to facilitate Father Ly’s “immediate and unconditional release from prison” and to allow him to return home and work without restrictions on his “internationally guaranteed” freedom of expression, association or movement.

Fr. Ly, now 63 years old, has been jailed three times since the 1970s for a total of 14 years, Agence Free Presse says. His four-hour trial in 2007 on charges of spreading propaganda against the Communist government led to an eight-year sentence.

During the trial the priest was physically restrained, gagged, and prohibited from defending himself, actions which drew condemnation from diplomats and human rights groups.

Jared Genser, president of the prisoners of conscience group Freedom Now, said his group was “strongly encouraged” by the Senators’ efforts.

“It is our hope that the Government of Vietnam will heed their call and bring to an end the continued and unjust imprisonment of Father Ly,” he said.

A Freedom Now press release described Fr. Ly’s detention as a “bellwether” for human rights in Vietnam.

Freedom Now executive director Maran Turner told AFP there has been “further repression” by the Vietnamese government, “more now than in quite some time.”

“At this time we feel they are backsliding,” she said.

According to AFP, Sens. John Kerry and John McCain, both Vietnam War veterans and former presidential candidates, did not sign the letter.

In November 2006 the U.S. State Department ceased to designate Vietnam as a “country of particular concern” following its passage of religious freedom legislation, which outlawed forced renunciations.

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?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30