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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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Court denies appeal of rights advocate

VINH (UCAN): People’s Court of Nghe An province in north-central Vietnam, has been criticised for upholding the five-year prison sentence of jailed Catholic rights advocate, Nguyen Van Oai, who was arrested in January last year.
 
The appeals court upheld the prison term on January 15, plus four years’ probation on the charge of resisting security officers and violating the terms of probation from an earlier conviction that saw Nguyen imprisoned from 2013-2015 for allegedly attempting to overthrow the government. 
 

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Vietnam condemns criticism

HANOI (SE): A court in Vietnam sentenced Nguyen Van Hoa, a blogger and advocate for human rights, to seven years in prison on December 4 on a charge of conducting propaganda against the state.
 
The prosecution claimed he tried to incite protests over the government handling of the devastating toxic waste spill by the Formosa Plastics Group in Ha Tinh province in April last year.
 
The industrial spill killed about 115 tonnes of fish and wiped out the fishing and tourism industries in four provinces.
 

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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.
 

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Priest banned from travelling abroad

HANOI (UCAN): Redemptorist Father John Nguyen Ngoc Nam Phong, who is known for his human rights advocacy campaigns for social justice, has been barred from leaving Vietnam for national security reasons.
 
A Church person said that the priest from Thai Ha parish in Hanoi was stopped at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport as he was checking in on a flight to Australia for study laave on June 27.
 

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Catholic blogger jailed in Vietnam

HANOI (UCAN): Mary Magdelene Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, a Catholic blogger known as Mother Mushroom, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the People’s Court of Khanh Hoa province in Nha Trang City on June 29.
 
The roads leading up to the court were blocked while police lined the streets.
 
Nguyen, a co-founder of a network of bloggers, was found guilty of “conducting propaganda against the Communist government” under Article 88 of the Criminal Law. She was arrested on 10 October 2016.

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Harassment at Easter

HANOI (UCAN): Plainclothes officials in northwest Vietnam broke into the home of a Catholic family and attempted to take a priest into custody as he was preparing to celebrate Easter Mass.
 
More than 20 men and women, who identified themselves as local officials, barged into the house where around 100 people had gathered for Mass in the town of Muong Khuong, Lao Cai province.
 

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