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Two Vietnamese Catholics falsely accused of “anti-government” activities

The two, a woman and a young man, are accused of distributing leaflets compiled by Fr. Van Ly, currently in prison, against the Communist Party. The priest denies knowing the woman. In fact, she was condemned for advocating the rights of the Church in Tam Toa (Vinh diocese).

ICC Note:

A Vietnamese court issued a three to five year prison sentence for two Catholics for distributing anti-government material in what appears to be a “government vendetta toward Catholics who defend the rights of the Church,” Asia News reports.

By Paul Hung

3/9/2012 Vietnam (AsiaNews) – Two Vietnamese Catholics have been sentenced to jail for distributing anti-government material. AsiaNews sources say, however, that the charges - at least for one of them - are false and it is only a government vendetta toward Catholics who defend the rights of the Church.

Ms. Thuy Vo Thi Thu, 50, and Nguyen Van Thanh, 28, on March 6 were sentenced to five and three years imprisonment respectively by a court in the central province of Nghe An. The two were arrested in 2011 and were accused of distributing leaflets slandering the Chinese Communist Party and its leadership. According to the court, the leaflets were prepared by Fr. Nguyen Van Ly, a priest who for years has been fighting for a democratic, multiparty system in Vietnam. For this Fr. Van Ly, now very ill, has undergone several previous convictions. To date he is in prison, having been arrested on July 25, 2011.

AsiaNews sources in Vietnam say that the charges against Ms. Vo are false. "When she was arrested, I asked Fr. Van Ly - free at the time - if he knew her and he said no and that he had never spoken with her."

In fact, according to sources, Ms Vo was sentenced because of her commitment to the rights of the Church.

[Full Story]

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