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Religious leaders blocked from APEC surrounds

DA NANG (UCAN): People with an affiliation with unregistered Churches or religious groups were confined to their homes in Da Nang, Vietnam, for the duration of the gathering of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting that took place from November 6 to 11.
Hua Phi, a leader of the Cao Dai indigenous faith, said he was ordered by five security officers on November 4 not to leave his home until the APEC summit hadconcluded.
Hua Phi said the security officers threatened that if he did not obey their order, he would be detained. Photographs show several men loitering near and around his home during the week.
“Although I strongly protested, many plainclothes police have been stationed around my home around the clock,” Hua Phi, who is based in Lam Dong in the central highlands, explained.
The 27 members of the Vietnam-based Interfaith Council of Vietnam have been closely followed by security officers. The council is a cooperative arrangement of unregistered faiths working together to protect themselves from government persecution.
Others reported that they were stopped by police when travelling to Da Nang, turned back and forced to return home.
The police appear to have been strangling efforts of the unregistered religions to pass on information of their plight to international delegates at the APEC conference.

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