Vietnam priest jailed for dissent

A Vietnamese Catholic priest has been jailed for eight years for dissent after a dramatic one-day trial in which he denounced the ruling communist party.

Vietnam priest jailed for dissent

A Vietnamese Catholic priest has been jailed for eight yearsfor dissent after a dramatic one-day trial in which he denounced the rulingcommunist party.

Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, a pro-democracy activist, wasled into court in the central Vietnamese city of Hue in handcuffs along with four allegedaccomplices.

 

 

At the start of the trial he refused to stand and identifyhimself before the chief judge, Bui Quoc Hiep.

"Down with the Communist party of Vietnam!"Ly shouted before a police officer covered his mouth and removed him to anearby room.

 

 

He was later brought back, but he refused to answerprosecutors' charges against him, shouting "The Communists use thelaw of the jungle!" before officers against removed him from the courtroom.

His display of defiance was striking in a country wheredissent is harshly punished.

Ly, 60, who has spent 14 years in prison for hispro-democracy activities - or acting against the state - was accused ofproducing anti-government documents and communicating with anti-communistgroups overseas.

'Severe punishment'

Prosecutors said he resumed his political activities afterhe was freed from jail in a 2005 amnesty and placed under house arrest.

Passing sentence judge Hiep said Ly deserved"severe punishment" for masterminding efforts to boycott Vietnam'supcoming legislative elections, establish unsanctioned political parties, andoverthrow the government.

Hiep said Ly and his co-defendants had committed "veryserious crimes that harmed national security."

During the trial prosecutors had said Ly had told policethat he "worked day and night" to produce anti-government materials.

They said Ly was a founding member of the outlawed"Bloc 8406" pro-democracy coalition, named after its April 8 launchlast year, and was active in the banned Vietnam Progression party.

They also said he had planned to merge with overseasdemocracy activists to form a new political umbrella group called Lac Hong.

Crackdown

Activists say the case is part of an intensified crackdownby the authorities on civil liberties.

Ly's trial is the first of several expected in the comingmonths against prominent pro-democracy advocates, including two Hanoi humanrights lawyers detained this month.

More than a dozen diplomats and foreign journalists attendedFriday's trial.

In an unusual step, foreign observers were allowed to be inthe court for the first and last five minutes of the proceedings. They watchedthe rest of the proceedings on closed-circuit television.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
YORUM EKLE