Vietnam: Police violence at Catholic protest

Source: FSSPX News

On September 4, 2013, Vietnamese police violently dispersed a peaceful protest led by Catholic faithful in front of the church of My Yen in the northern province of Nghe An. 300 protesters were calling for the release of two Catholics, Ngo Van Khoi and Nguyen Van Hai, imprisoned since June without being charged. The police used Tasers and fired actual rounds in dispersing the crowd.

In a press release from Asia News dated the same day, eyewitnesses described the dispersion as one of the most violent repressions carried out by the authorities in recent years. Sources said dozens of protesters were hospitalized, some so critically wounded that they were transferred to Hanoi, capital of Vietnam. A priest of the province of Nghe An told Catholic news agency Ucanews (UCAN), according to a release dated September 5, that 40 persons were severely wounded. Another, anonymous, ecclesiastical source said that the forces of the law had destroyed statues and holy pictures.

The evening before, nearly 1000 people had met before the offices of the local authorities to call for the release of the two Catholics, whose families specified that they were arrested in June 2013 for “disturbing the peace”.

In Vietnam, in 2013 alone, the Communist leadership in Hanoi arrested over 40 “activists” for “crimes against the State”. In January, a local tribunal condemned 14 Christians, mostly Catholics, to punishments of up to 13 years in jail for having “attempted to overthrow the government.”

(Sources: kipa-apic.ch – Asia News – UCAN – DICI no. 282, 04/10/13)

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