Hanoi, Vietnam, May 13, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The United States passed a resolution yesterday calling for the release of a Catholic priest, accused of attempting to undermine the communist government.
Fr. Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly was sentenced to 15 years in 2001 for "damaging the government's unity policy" as well as other charges, reported the Associated Press.
Fr. Ly’s sentence was reduced to 10 years in 2003, but the U.S. continues to pressure the Vietnamese government for his immediate release.
The priest was arrested in 2001 after giving written testimony of the state of religious freedom and human rights in Vietnam to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, says the AP report. His testimony reportedly urged the U.S. not to sign a bilateral trade agreement until Vietnam improved its human rights record.