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In a horrific act of protest, the mother of a prominent Christian blogger has died after setting herself on fire over the arrest of her daughter. This is the first known self-immolation by fire in Vietnam since the 1970’s, and it tragically highlights the plight of the countries Christians, who face brutal harassment at the hands of the communist government. Her daughter, Marie Ta Phong Tan, a Catholic, is set to go on trial next week for allegedly spreading anti-government propaganda. 
07/31/2012 Vietnam (UCA News) – The mother of a prominent Christian blogger has died after setting herself on fire yesterday in a protest against her daughter’s detention for allegedly spreading anti-government propaganda, activists said.
Dang Thi Kim Lieng set herself alight near a local government office building in the southern city of Bac Lieu yesterday morning.
“Her wounds were very serious and she died on the way to the hospital [in Ho Chi Minh City],” said Redemptorist Father Dinh Huu Thoai, a priest close to the family.
Her daughter, Marie Ta Phong Tan, is being held at a jail in the city.
The 43-year-old Catholic former policewoman was one of three bloggers arrested last year. All are due to go on trial next week.
Lieng had not seen her daughter since her arrest last September. Local Church sources said she had been very worried about her daughter’s trial.
She too had been questioned and followed everywhere she went and her home was being watched by authorities 24 hours a day, the sources said.
Lieng’s death, the first reported self-immolation in Vietnam since the 1970s, came a day after the Vietnamese Redemptorist News network called for the release of 17 Christians, including Tan, some of whom have been held without trial since last July.
In a statement on Sunday, the network said most of the detained had contributed to its blog It claimed they were not arrested in accordance with due process under Vietnamese law or according to international conventions signed by Vietnam.
“Their ongoing detention in silence indicates a serious violation against the spirit of the call to construct a state of jurisdiction,” the statement said. It denied that the bloggers were spreading anti-government propaganda, saying they were “all righteous people.

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