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Catholic social advocate detained in Vietnam

HANOI (UCAN): Police in Vietnam have been accused of abducting a Nguyen Nang Tinh, a Catholic advocate for social and charitable activities.
 
His wife, Nguyen Thi Tinh, said he was seized and pushed into a truck by police officers while he and their two sons were on their way to have breakfast on May 29.
 
She said police later asked her father-in-law to fetch the sons from the police station. The eldest son is just seven-years-old.
 
Nguyen, 43, had brought their two sons to their home in Vinh City, the capital of Nghe An province, from Ho Chi Minh City where his wife works.
 
She said police “have no heart to separate our children from their father.” The woman said they had not done anything wrong. She said law enforcement officers should have acted according to laws and their conscience.
 
Government-supported bloggers or online opinion influencers reported that Nguyen was arrested for joining the United States-based Viet Tan pro-democracy group based. The government of Vietnam lists the group as reactionary and a terrorist organisation.
 
They said police searched Nguyen’s house and took away materials relating to his supposed crimes.
 
They also threatened to arrest other advocates including Father Anthony Dang Huu Nam and Father John Baptist Nguyen Dinh Thuc, whom they described as reactionaries.
 
One blogger, Paul Tran Minh Nhat, said Nguyen’s family has not been informed as to why he was seized.
 
Nhat said Nguyen, who teaches music at a public college of culture and arts in Vinh City, is an amiable man and heavily involved in rights, justice, cultural and religious activities at parishes in the Diocese of Vinh. He gives material and spiritual support to victims of social injustice.
 
Nguyen suffers from kidney stones and had made plans to have medical treatment before his arrest.
 
On May 29, hundreds of Catholics gathered at My Khanh Church in the province to pray for Nguyen. Father Dang told the community that “I will be happy if communists hate, persecute, imprison or kill me as they have said because in that way I know I belong to God, the Church, the truth and you.”
 
Vietnam has detained 128 prisoners of conscience, according to Amnesty International’s most recent report.

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