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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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Plan to deploy troops along Mexico border knocked by bishops

MEXICO CITY (CNS): The Mexican Bishops’ Conference has criticised a plan floated on April 4 by the president of the United States of America (US), Donald Trump, to deploy National Guard troops along the border with Mexico and issued a strong defence of migrants, saying the Catholic Church could not stand by “in the face of suffering by our brother migrants as they seek better conditions by crossing the border to work and contribute to the common good.”
 

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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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Conviction of a mass murderer

It is a spark of light from the darkness of human rights violations, horrific war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and ethnic cleansing that caused the suffering, torture, starvation and mass murder of thousands.
 
That spark is the conviction and sentence to life imprisonment by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands, on November 22 of Ratko Mladic, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb forces, better known as the Butcher of Bosnia.
 








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All in the name of progress

BEIJING (AsiaNews): A family of seven in Hanzhong, a village in Shaanxi province, northwestern China, was dragged from their home, bound and gagged, by a demolition team, The Beijing News has reported.
 
The family had refused compensation from local authorities, who responded on July 1 by sending in a wrecking crew.
 
Operating under the dictum, anything in the name of progress, the team secured the family with zip ties and tape, dragging all seven out of the house before beginning to demolish it.

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Sri Lanka called to act on forced disappearances

COLOMBO (UCAN): Journalists in Sri Lanka are demanding that the government act quickly to pass a law that would make forced disappearances a criminal offence.
 
The United Nations (UN) Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances ranks Sri Lanka as the second biggest offender in this area, as for decades people have simply been disappearing without a trace.
 

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Trampled rights in Tibet

MADRID (UCAN): Fifty-eight years ago, a large Tibetan protest against the Chinese government broke out in Lhasa, Tibet, on March 10, which eventually led to the political and spiritual leader of the country, the Dalai Lama, some government officials and tens of thousands of Tibetans fleeing to neighbouring India, Nepal, Bhutan and other countries.

On March 10 this year, exiled Tibetans around the world held a variety of activities to mark the anniversary and called on the Chinese government to improve its policy towards Tibet and resolve the issues that cause so much discontent.

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Religious join Women’s March in Washington

WASHINGTON (SE): The large crowds that gathered on January 21, the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America (US), was originally billed as a protest by feminists against the anti-woman policies and attitudes of the new man in the While House.

But controversy quickly broke out and a week prior to the event the registration of what had described itself as a pro-life group, taken as being anti-abortion, was rejected by the organisers as being anti-feminist.

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