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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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Protesting the Philippines kowtow foreign policy

MANILA (UCAN): Protesters in Manila marked the country’s 120th Independence Day on June 12 marching against what they described as the Philippine government’s continuing “subservient foreign policy” to both China and the United States of America (US).
 
Only a week earlier, Chinese Coast Guard personnel drove Filipino fishermen out of their traditional fishing grounds at Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. A video report released by GMA News showed the fishermen watching helplessly their catch was seized.

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Philippine police arrest suspect in priest’s killing

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine authorities announced on June 15 that they had arrested their “prime suspect” in the killing of Father Richmond Villaflor Nilo, the same day his body was laid to rest.
 
Identified as Adell Roll Milan, the suspect was arrested in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, on June 14.
 
A witness reportedly identified Milan, an alleged former drug user and hitman, as having shot the priest on June 10.
 

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March for life in Seoul

HONG KONG (SE): As South Korea awaits the outcome on the Constitutional Court’s deliberations on the constitutionality of the country’s ban on abortions, the country’s seventh March for Life Korea, hosted by the Prolife Federation, was held at Myeongdong Cathedral on June 16, in opposition of any move to repeal the ban and in support of the rights of mothers and unborn children, the Committee for Communications of Archdiocese of Seoul reported.
 

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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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Only the lowly can confront corruption

GWANGJU (SE): Father Nandana Manatunga thanked the people of South Korea for their continuous support of those struggling against repression and state violence throughout Asia as he was presented with the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights at the Culture Centre in Seogu on May 18 this year.
 

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Jakarta seeks Catholic allies against radicalism

JAKARTA (UCAN): “What is happening scares me. I have just read (an) article about a young girl who became radicalised by learning about extreme Islamic teachings from the Internet,” Indonesia’s presidential chief of staff, Moeldoko, told the Association of Indonesian Catholic Intellectuals (ISKA) during a gathering to mark of its 60th anniversary on May 30 in Jakarta.
 

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Typhoon Haiyan victims still piecing it together four years on

TACLOBAN (UCAN):  To date, Caritas has been able to help about 1.8 million people affected by the destruction brought by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which struck the central Philippines in 2013.
 
Five years on from the disaster, the Church’s recovery and rehabilitation programme has become one of its largest and far-reaching natural disaster responses, amounting to about US$50 million ($392 million).
 

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Rohingya reluctant to return home

MANDALAY (UCAN): “It’s telling that Rohingya aren’t clamouring to return to the places where they recently survived genocidal attacks. The authorities are attempting to distract the world from mass atrocities committed by the army,” Matthew Smith, chief executive of Fortify Rights, said, as it seems that a deal between the Myanmese government and United Nations (UN) agencies has done little to inspire confidence that refugees will agree to be repatriated from Bangladesh.
 

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Religious leaders back Myanmar peace efforts

BANGKOK (UCAN): “It is at a crucial moment in the history of this country that we, as Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim leaders from Myanmar and across the region, come to you in solidarity with hope for peace,” Charles Cardinal Bo of Yangon, along with leaders of other faith confessions, said in an open letter to the people of Myanmar.
 

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