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Vietnam pro-life hero detained at airport
A Redemptorist- known for his role as a prolife advocate and an out spoken critic against Vietnam government's bauxite mining plan has been detained at Tan Son Nhat airport in Vietnam on Jun 6, 2009 as he was returning home from his pastoral trip abroad.

Rev Le Quang Uy said his luggage had been searched meticulously and his lap-top was confiscated by the airport security and customs agents. The priest was later released with a citation that requires him to come to the Office of Cultural Inspection for a follow-up meeting on next Monday Jun 8, 2009
Posted on 08 Jun 2009
Report by the UN Human Rights Council on Vietnam's Universal Periodic Review: Vietnam Rejects UN Recommendations for Concrete Reforms to Advance Human Rights
2009-05-13 | | Vietnam Committee GENEVA, 13 May 2009

(VIETNAM COMMITTEE) - The Vietnam Committee on Human Rights expresses deep disappointment at the report of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Vietnam issued by the UN Human Rights Council's UPR Working Group on Tuesday, 12th May 2009. Whilst accepting some general recommendations on the promotion of human rights, Vietnam rejected many of the concrete proposals made by UN member states for specific measures and reforms to advance human rights.
Posted on 30 May 2009
US Commission on International Religious Freedom visits UBCV leader Thich Quang Do in Saigon
2009-05-16 | | IBIB

PARIS, 16 May 2009 (IBIB) - A delegation from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) visited Patriarch Thich Quang Do of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam today (Saturday 16 May) at the Thanh Minh Zen Monastery in Saigon. The delegation included USCIRF Vice-Chairman Michael Cromartie, David Dettoni, Director of Operations and Outreach, Dr. Scott Flipse, Senior Policy Analyst, and Jane Bocklage, Second Secretary of the US Embassy in Hanoi. The USCIRF, an independent body that advises the US Congress and Administration, is currently in Vietnam to examine the religious freedom situation. In its annual report this month, the USCIRF recommended that Vietnam be re-designated as one of the world's worst religious freedom violators or "Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for "continuing systematic and egregious violations of religious freedom and other human rights".

Posted on 30 May 2009
Vietnam: Protecting environment is a Christian's duty, Cardinal says
In a strong-worded pastoral letter dated May 31, a Vietnamese Cardinal condemns the exploitation of natural resources which damages environment, urging his faithful to protest against economic plans that take into account only the benefits of the minority group of those in power, and to pray for the government to show their concern for the people, the land, and future generations.
Posted on 30 May 2009
Sun sets on Vietnamese Churches hopes to see property restored
Nguyen Thanh Xuan, deputy chief of the Commission for Religious Affairs confirms the government "has no intention of returning any property or goods to the Catholic Church or any other religious organisation". He describes the Church as a great landlord living in luxury thanks to the "blood, sweat and tears" of the people. Father Joseph Nguyen responds "it's a distortion of the truth" given that the properties in question were destined for prayer, education, charity work and hospices for the poor".

Hanoi (AsiaNews) -- The Vietnamese government has confirmed that it will return "nothing" of the 2,250 properties taken from the Church which was a "powerful landlord" of properties now destined for the "for the common benefit" of population. In reality, party officials seized Churches, orphanages, hospitals, schools and other facilities destined for social needs in order to put them to private use or exploit them economically to further Communist Party finances.
Posted on 27 May 2009
Tensions continue between Catholic groups and Vietnamese authorities
The faithful of Thai Binh have refused to take part in celebrations marking the birthday of Ho Chi Minh, while in Son La they succeeded in meeting with an American delegation despite attempts to block the encounter.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) -- Tensions persist between Catholic groups and the Vietnamese authorities: the faithful of Thai Binh refused to take part in celebrations marking the birthday of "uncle Ho", as "the father of the homeland" is called, while in Son La others succeeded in describing the daily abuse they have been subjected to for years to a delegation from the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), despite attempts to impede the encounter.
Posted on 23 May 2009
VIETNAM: Catholics and dissidents prevented to meet with the USCIRF
A delegation from US Committee for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has been in Vietnam for more than a week to meet with dissidents and Christians. However, Vietnam government has made its best effort to prevent such meetings.

As Vietnam continues to demonstrate a disturbing disregard for fundamental human rights, USCIRF has called on US State Department to re-designate Vietnam among the worst violators of religious freedom and demand the unconditional release of all prisoners of concern. Further, a USCIRF delegation led by Mr. Michel Cromatie has been in Vietnam since May 12 to meet with the political dissidents and Christians throughout Vietnam.
Posted on 19 May 2009
Free countries must hold Hanoi to account at the U.N. this week
MAY 7, 2009

By VO VAN AI From today's Wall Street Journal Asia.

Vietnam's human-rights record will come under scrutiny tomorrow at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Hanoi is hoping the council, which includes Cuba and Saudi Arabia, will rub clean its murky record on human rights. Freedom-loving countries shouldn't let this happen.

Vietnam's report to the Human Rights Council in preparation for this review paints a glowing self-portrait of the Communist nation as a "rule-of-law state of the people, by the people and for the people." But human beings are absent from Vietnam's concept of human rights. The document extols political stability over political rights. The "most sacred" human right, states the report, is the right to independence won by the Communists under Ho Chi Minh. It also claims Vietnam should be an exception to universal human-rights rules.
Posted on 18 May 2009
Religious Freedom Under Threat
Venezuela Added to U.S. Commission's Latest Report

By Father John Flynn, LC

ROME, May. 10, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom continues to show that religious freedom is a human right under fire, but changes have come about and they are not all negative.

Though Myanmar and Venezuela have a worsening record when it comes to religious freedom, India is showing signs of improvement.

On May 1 the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its annual report, together with its recommendations about which countries should be denominated as "countries of particular concern," or CPCs.
Posted on 12 May 2009
Thai Binh Bishop speaks out against local government's effort to prevent the faithful from going to Hanoi for a pilgrimage
In an open letter to various government's officials and to the Catholic Church leaders, Bishop F.X. Nguyen Van Sang of Thai Binh diocese, North Vietnam, has criticized Thai Binh government 's attempt to sabotage a pilgrimage he and other clergymen have been trying to organize for months at Thai Ha parish.


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Posted on 12 May 2009

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