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4/11/2011 Vietnam (AsiaNews) – Prayer vigils in several dioceses have been the response of Vietnamese Catholics to new attacks by the authorities on April 4 at the trial of non-Catholic lawyer and human rights defender Cu Huy Ha Vu, and the arrest of another lawyer, Le Quoc Quan Catholic.

Significantly in Hanoi police tightened security around churches, concerned that a common front between dissidents and believers could be formed. To those suspected of not being Catholic were not allowed to attend Masses celebrated Saturday and Sunday. A young couple told AsiaNews that they were turned back on their way to the Redemptorist church, because neither were able to identify themselves as Catholic to the police.

During the vigil, Brother Nguyen Tang, who had been severely beaten in Dong Chiem, spoke of what happened to the lawyer Le Quoc Quan, who was peacefully following the trial outside the classroom, when “the police caught and beat anyone trying to defend him. They used batons to stun a woman who risked her life trying to get the lawyer away. “

Elsewhere, there was a sea of candles, like at the church of Thanh Minh, in the diocese of Thai Binh, where Father Augustine Pham Quang Tuong led the vigil. To the thousands present the priest expressed concern about the safety of the lawyer Le Quoc Quan, who is a member of the Justice and Peace Committee of the Episcopal Conference.

A hundred miles away, in the southwest of the country, Thai Binh, dozens of priests of the deanery of Dong Thap (diocese of Vinh) took part in the vigil in the church of Ben Den. A large screen placed in front of the church showed the moment when the lawyer and other Catholics were arrested.

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