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Vietnam celebrates canonisation of martyrs

HANOI (UCAN): Some 20,000 Catholics from the Archdiocese of Hanoi, along with nine dioceses in northern Vietnam, braved the scorching heat to attend a special Mass on June 19 in Ha Nam province to open a jubilee year to mark the 30th anniversary of the canonisation of 117 Vietnamese martyrs.
 
The opening ceremony was held at the Martyrs Pilgrimage Centre of So Kien, which includes the 135-year-old Minor Basilica of Immaculate Conception of Mary in Ha Nam province.
 

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Many beaten and injured as police suppress protests in Vietnam

HANOI (UCAN): In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, around 200 protesters were detained, beaten and interrogated by police on June 17, in a crackdown aimed at suppressing opposition to a proposed special economic development plan and the approval of a controversial cyber security law.
 
Eyewitnesses said the police action was aimed at stopping any demonstration talking place. 
 

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Vietnam sends human rights lawyer into exile

HANOI (UCAN): Prominent rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai, and fellow jailed Brotherhood for Democracy group member, Le Thu Ha, were released from prison in Hanoi late on June 7 and, together with Nguyen’s wife, Vu Minh Khanh, were taken to the airport and put on a flight bound for Frankfurt, Germany, according to a pro-democracy group.
 

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Authorities bar priest and rights advocate from leaving Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY (UCAN): On May 14, Redemptorist Father Joseph Dinh Huu Thoai was stopped by army officers at a land border with Laos when he intended to travel onward to the United States to visit relatives and friends.
 
In an audio recording posted on Facebook, Father Dinh asked officers to explain why he was banned from leaving. Officials maintained that they were acting under orders from their superiors.
 

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St. Paul Sisters attacked in Hanoi land dispute

HANOI (UCAN): Around a dozen Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres were attacked by gangsters in Hanoi, Vietnam, while protesting the illegal construction of a house on land adjoining their convent.
 
Witnesses said gangsters employed to guard the site “insulted and attacked the sisters with batons and one was beaten to unconsciousness.” They said many policemen were present but did nothing to stop the brutal attack.
 

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Priest returns to northern Vietnam as a bishop

HANOI (UCAN): Father Joseph Nguyen Duc Cuong is returning to Thanh Hóa province, the region of his birth, to become bishop of a diocese considered the cradle of Catholicism in northern Vietnam.
 
Father Nguyen was appointed by the Holy See on April 25, according to a statement from Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam. Every Church in the 86-year-old diocese rang their bells to welcome the nomination as soon as the Vatican made the announcement. 
 

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French missionaries to Vietnam recognised

HUE (UCAN): Church leaders in Vietnam paid tribute to the Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP) for helping hundreds of local clergy over the past 25 years at a meeting at the Pastoral Centre in Hue from on April 18 to 19.
 

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Social rights advocates jailed in Vietnam

HA TRINH (UCAN): Teresa Tran Thi Xuan, a 42-year-old social rights advocate, was sentenced to nine years in prison by The People’s Court in Ha Tinh Province on April 12 for “attempting to overthrow the people’s government,” according to the state-run Ha Tinh newspaper.
 
The newspaper reported on April 13 that Tran faces an additional five years under house arrest after finishing what observers called a very harsh sentence.
 

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Vietnam jails human rights lawyer

HANOI (UCAN): The People’s Court of Hanoi sentenced Christian lawyer Nguyen Van Dai to 15 years in prison on charges of attempting to overthrow the communist government on April 5, while Pastor Nguyen Trung Ton and journalist Truong Minh Duc were each jailed for 12 years and advocate Nguyen Bac Truyen was sentenced to 11 years. 
 
Le Thu Ha and Pham Van Troi were sentenced to nine and seven years respectively.
 

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Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City mourned

HO CHI MINH CITY (UCAN): Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc of Ho Chi Minh City died of a stroke on March 6 in Rome while he and 32 other Vietnamese bishops were on their ad limina visit to the Vatican. He was 73-years-old.
 
Church sources said the archbishop suffered the stroke as he was celebrating Mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside The Wall.
 

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