• Vietnam: Clinton Should Spotlight Internet Freedom , -- posted on 31 Aug 2012
  • Vietnamese Catholics demonstrate despite government threats, -- posted on 19 Jul 2012
  • Blogger Slashed by Thugs, -- posted on 14 Jul 2012
  • Vietnam: Free Catholic Activists, -- posted on 23 May 2012
  • Vietnamese Blogger Dieu Cay, -- posted on 21 Apr 2012
  • Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.: “We admire the commitment of the Province of Vietnam..., -- posted on 18 Nov 2011
  • Press Release: On the abuse of social media system, police and gangs by the communist government of Vietnam against Thai Ha Parish, -- posted on 15 Nov 2011
  • Following the Lord on the path of the Cross, renews our way of thinking, says Pope, -- posted on 31 Aug 2011
  • Cau Ram: thousands of Catholics protest against property seizures, -- posted on 16 Aug 2011
  • Reporters Without Borders: French-vietnamese blogger sentenced to three years in prison, -- posted on 15 Aug 2011
  • Public frustrations soar in Vietnam, -- posted on 05 Aug 2011
  • Return of Father Nguyen Van Ly to Prison, -- posted on 29 Jul 2011
  • Vietnam: U.S. Ships to Join Exercises, Raising Objections from China, -- posted on 20 Jul 2011
  • Hanoi archbishop protests convent demolition, -- posted on 26 May 2011
  • Vietnam unleashes wave of repression against Hmong Christians, at least 49 dead, -- posted on 16 May 2011
  • Amnesty International Annual Report 2011, -- posted on 16 May 2011
  • Vietnam: 14 Die as Troops Converge On Hmong, -- posted on 10 May 2011
  • Soldiers sent to free kidnapped officials in Vietnam, -- posted on 07 May 2011
  • Vietnam: Ethnic Hmong 'in mass protest in Dien Bien', -- posted on 07 May 2011
  • Ethnic Hmong hold mass protest in Vietnam, -- posted on 07 May 2011
  • Vietnam quashes rare Hmong uprising, -- posted on 07 May 2011
  • Vietnamese Catholics beaten, arrested for supporting human rights lawyer, -- posted on 04 May 2011
  • My revived hatred of communism, -- posted on 18 Feb 2011
  • Vietnamese Catholics bury aborted fetuses, -- posted on 29 Dec 2010
  • More trouble for Vietnam's Redemptorists: monastery turned into state office, -- posted on 26 Dec 2010
  • New wave of harassment against Redemptorists in Vietnam, -- posted on 17 Dec 2010
  • Vietnam's land management system prone to corruption, experts say, -- posted on 29 Nov 2010
  • KonTum Bishop committed to bring The Words to remote regions despite local scrutiny , -- posted on 18 Nov 2010
  • Vietnam youths go online to promote chastity, -- posted on 18 Nov 2010
  • Congressman criticizes conviction of six Catholics in Vietnam as ‘sham court’, -- posted on 04 Nov 2010
  • Heavy sentences against faithful of Con Dau - Catholics protest injustice , -- posted on 27 Oct 2010
  • Former enemies US, Vietnam now military mates , -- posted on 09 Aug 2010
  • Human Rights Watch honours 6 Vietnamese dissident writers who faced political persecution, -- posted on 06 Aug 2010
  • In Visit, Clinton Criticizes Vietnam on Rights, -- posted on 24 Jul 2010
  • Vinh Long nuns keep fighting for justice and truth , -- posted on 15 Jul 2010
  • Vatican moves upset Viet local Church leaders , -- posted on 06 Jul 2010
  • Pope to appoint groundbreaking representative to Vietnam, -- posted on 06 Jul 2010
  • Vietnam: Provincial government tightens its grip on freedom of religion , -- posted on 23 Jun 2010
  • Vietnam, US hold security, defense dialogue, -- posted on 09 Jun 2010

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  • Vietnam: Free Catholic Activists
    Four Advocates Facing Trial for Social Activism

    May 22, 2012
    [clockwise from top left] Catholic activist Chu Manh Son; Catholic activist Dau Van Duong; Catholic activist Hoang Phong; Catholic activist Tran Huu Duc
    Vigil Prayer for Catholic activists Chu Manh Son, Dau Van Duong, Hoang Phong and Tran Huu Duc at Thai Ha church in Hanoi on May 20, 2012

    It's absolutely shameful that the Vietnam government is putting these Catholic activists on trial, and may send them to prison for years for nothing more than expressing their views and distributing leaflets. Prosecuting these four activists shows the contempt Vietnam has for freedom of religion and expression.
    Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director

    (Bangkok) -- Vietnamese authorities should immediately release four Catholic activists accused of conducting propaganda against the state and drop the charges against them. The People's Court of Nghe An is scheduled to hear the cases against them on May 24, 2012.

    The four-- Dau Van Duong, Tran Huu Duc, Chu Manh Son, and Hoang Phong -- come from the Catholic community of Vinh in Nghe An province. Authorities arrested them for allegedly distributing pro-democracy leaflets.

    "It's absolutely shameful that the Vietnam government is putting these Catholic activists on trial, and may send them to prison for years for nothing more than expressing their views and distributing leaflets," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "Prosecuting these four activists shows the contempt Vietnam has for freedom of religion and expression."

    In the past, the four activists had participated in volunteer activities, including encouraging women not to have abortions, donating blood, and volunteering to help orphans and victims of natural disasters. Authorities arrested Dau Van Duong, 24, a student at the Nghe An Trading and Tourism Vocational College, and his cousin Tran Huu Duc, 24, a student at the Vietnam-German Vocational Technical College of Nghe An, on August 2, 2011. The next day, authorities arrested Chu Manh Son, 23, a student from the Vinh Medical University. Hoang Phong, 25, a recent graduate from the Vinh University of Technology Education, was arrested on December 29.

    The Vietnamese government often uses article 88 of the penal code, "conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam," to imprison bloggers, critics, and activists arbitrarily.  Article 88 calls for punishment of between 3 and 20 years in prison for such acts as "propaganda," "circulating documents or cultural products," or "psychological warfare" against the government.

    In 2011 Vietnamese courts used this provision to convict at least 10 bloggers and activists for expressing their views including the legal advocate Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu, bloggers Vi Duc Hoi, Lu Van Bay, Ho Thi Bich Khuong, Nguyen Ba Dang, and others.

    In March 2012 the People's Court of Nghe An convicted two other Catholic activists, Vo Thi Thu Thuy and Nguyen Van Thanh, under article 88. State media reported that the two were affiliated with Father Nguyen Van Ly, and were accused of distributing anti-government leaflets. Vo Thi Thu Thuy was sentenced to five years in prison, and Nguyen Van Thanh to three years.

    Three prominent bloggers, Nguyen Van Hai (a.k.a Dieu Cay), Phan Thanh Hai (a.k.a Anhbasg), and Ta Phong Tan, have also been indicted under article 88. The three are founding members of Club for Free Journalists, established in September 2007 to promote independent journalism and freedom of expression.

    At least another 12 Catholic bloggers and activists, including the prominent bloggers Ta Phong Tanand Le Van Son, are in detention pending investigation or waiting trial. Many of those arrested are affiliated with the Redemptorist Thai Ha church in Hanoi and Ky Dong church in Ho Chi Minh City. Over the last year, both churches have regularly held prayer vigils calling for the safety of activists in prison or in detention. On May 20, Thai Ha church held a vigil for the four activists who will be tried on May 24.

    "Article 88 is the equivalent of a legal buzz-saw, designed to cut down those who freely criticize or question the government," Robertson said. "Vietnam's leaders should repeal this draconian law and listen to their people, rather than muzzling and imprisoning them for thinking differently."


    Posted on 23 May 2012

    Vietnam News