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Vietnam’s draft law on religion bereft of progress

LONDON (Agencies): What is religious freedom? This is the question posed in a documentary recently posted on Facebook, which includes interviews with members of the public, as well as religious leaders, lawyers and rights advocates.

Remarkably, the video was made in Vietnam, a country that continues to restrict freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief.

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War and peace on the high seas

MANILA (AsiaNews): The sidelines of the November 18 to 19 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held in Manila, The Philippines, was a busy place, with negotiations on war and peace on the high seas a big part of the unofficial agenda.

The president of the host nation, Noynoy Aquino, was busy lobbying Japan for support ships to patrol the waters of the West Philippine Sea, which China refers to as the South China Sea.

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Vietnam releases two rights advocates

HANOI (SE): Tran Minh Nhat and Thai Van Dung, both Catholic rights advocates, who were sentenced for plotting to overthrow the government in Vietnam four years ago, were freed on August 27.

They were found guilty of being affiliated with the banned opposition party, Viet Tan, Radio Free Asia reported.

Tran told the broadcaster that they had been under constant pressure to sign a confession in order to get a shorter sentence, but both had refused to do so.

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Live ammunition used to disperse rally to free two parishioners

HANOI (AsiaNews): Police used live ammunition to attack hundreds of people from My Yen parish, Nghe An province, Vietnam, on August 28, demanding that two parishioners, Ngo Van Khoi and Nguyen Van Hai, be freed from detention.

The two parishioners were arrested in June and have been held ever since without being charged.

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Thousands sign for release of jailed Catholics

 

HANOI (AsiaNews): Family and friends of Catholics sentenced to prison in Vietnam for subversion in January have launched a public awareness campaign, which includes a petition signed by Christian and Buddhist religious leaders.

Organisers say the goal is to spread awareness of the case among the civilian population and win, first of all, the interest and the commitment of the Vietnamese people.

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Vietnamese priest nominated for Nobel award

Hong Kong (Agencies): Father Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly, a 65-year-old Vietnamese human rights advocate, has been nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, together with the Most Venerable Thich Quang Do, patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, by two members of the United States Congress, Chris Smith and Zoe Lofgren, the Independent Catholic News reports.


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Asian bishops gathered in Vietnam warmly welcomed by government

 

HONG KONG (SE) : One hundred delegates, including 71 bishops from 22 countries in Asia, gathered at Xuan Loc, to the east of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, on December 10 for the delayed Tenth Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) at which the 40th anniversary of its foundation was marked, under the theme, FABC after 40 years: Responding to the challenges of Asia.

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