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ICC Note: Vietnam remains one of the worst persecutor of Christians in Asia. Tran Minh Nhat is a Catholic activist who, motivated in part by his faith, joined an opposition part to Vietnam’s Communist Party. This and other activism is why the Vietnamese government arrested him and 13 other Catholic activists. Now Tran is going on a hunger strike to protest abuse, including the seizure of his Christian literature, he has faced in prison. Throughout Vietnam Christians live with strict regulations on the types of activities they may conduct. Those who continue to minister or practice their faith despite pressure from the government to cease face harassment, arrest, and prison.
6/26/2013 Vietnam (AsiaNews) – A Vietnamese activist convicted for plotting to overthrow the government has begun a hunger strike to protest prison conditions. Tran Minh Nhat, a Catholic activist, sentenced to four years in January for his affiliation with the banned Viet Tan opposition party, started to refuse food after he was denied reading material, including books about Catholic saints, and subjected to psychological and physical abuse.
Ngueyn Thi Chi, sister of activist Nguyen Dinh Cuong who was convicted and imprisoned with Nhat, said that the young man decided to go on a hunger strike “to protest prison conditions.” The protest, which began on June 21, will continue to the bitter end.
Another prominent activist and dissident, Cu Huy Ha Vu, recently stopped a similar protest after refusing food for 25 days. He stopped his hunger strike after prison authorities agreed to investigate his complaints about abuses in prison. For him, this is already a “victory” for justice and democracy in a country under a one-party state.
Vu’s case had an international impact. The US government, several others nations in the world and human rights groups issued appeals to the Vietnamese government for his immediate release.

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