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Socialist Vietnam frees jailed Fr. Ly ahead of Obama's visit

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Socialist Vietnam frees jailed Fr. Ly ahead of Obama's visit

Postby Editor 2 » Sat May 21, 2016 12:00 pm

Socialist Republic of Vietnam frees jailed Fr. Ly ahead of Obama's visit

21/05/2016 15:53 - Vatican Radio

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Vietnam granted early release from prison to Fr. Nguyen Van Ly who was arrested for promoting political and religious freedoms in the communist nation.

Fr. Nguyen Van Ly’s release is seen as a goodwill gesture before U.S. President Barack Obama’s arrival on an official visit late Sunday night.

Father Ly is considered to be a most prominent dissidents in Vietnam.The Catholic Archdiocese of the central city of Hue reported on its webpage that it welcomed the return Friday of 70-year-old Father Nguyen Van Ly from prison. Photos on its website showed a frail Ly being helped off a minibus, kneeling to pay his respects to his senior colleagues, then being led to a room prepared for him at the diocese. He has suffered several health crises while imprisoned.

Ly has served several long terms in prison or under house arrest for promoting political and religious freedoms in the communist nation. He has been serving an eight-year prison term since March 2007 after being convicted of spreading propaganda against the state. He was first jailed in 1977, two years after the Communist takeover of all Vietnam.

Vietnam's persecution of dissidents has been a roadblock to warmer relations with the United States, from which it is seeking the lifting of an arms embargo. Washington and Hanoi share a strategic interest in challenging Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, some of which are in areas long claimed by Vietnam.

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The government's relations have always been strained with the Catholic church, associated with French colonial rule and the former anti-communist South Vietnam, as well as an influential power base independent of the ruling Communist Party's control.
The U.S. State Department said it welcomed the amnesty for Ly.

"We consistently have called for the release of Father Ly and all other prisoners of conscience in Vietnam," said Gabrielle Price, the department's spokeswoman for East Asia and Pacific affairs. "We remain deeply concerned for all prisoners of conscience in Vietnam. We call on the government to release unconditionally all prisoners of conscience and allow all Vietnamese to express their political views peacefully without fear of retribution."

More than a dozen human rights groups last month sent an appeal to President Obama urging him to press Hanoi to release political prisoners.
The appeal, whose signees included Human Rights Watch as well as groups focusing on Vietnam, urged him "to make clear, both in private and in public, that (the) U.S.-Vietnamese relationship will not fundamentally advance absent meaningful human rights improvements, including the release of imprisoned activists, and end to harassment of civil society groups, and respect for international law." (AP).
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Re: Socialist Vietnam frees jailed Fr. Ly ahead of Obama's v

Postby Editor 2 » Sat May 21, 2016 12:06 pm

Vietnam Frees Dissident Priest Nguyen Van Ly Ahead of Obama's Visit
by ASSOCIATED PRESS


Vietnam has granted early release from prison to a Catholic priest who is one of its most prominent dissidents, a move widely seen as a goodwill gesture before U.S. President Barack Obama visits on Sunday.

ImageImage
Catholic priest Nguyen Van Ly, center, is seen at a court room in Vietnam's
central province of Thua Thien Hue in this image taken through
close-circuit TV, on March, 30, 2007.
AP



Catholic priest Nguyen Van Ly, center, is seen at a court room in Vietnam's central province of Thua Thien Hue in this image taken through close-circuit TV, on March, 30, 2007. AP
The Catholic Archdiocese of the central city of Hue reported on its webpage that it welcomed the return Friday of 70-year-old Father Nguyen Van Ly from prison.

Ly has served several long terms in prison or under house arrest for promoting political and religious freedoms in the communist nation. He has been serving an eight-year prison term since March 2007 after being convicted of spreading propaganda against the state.

Vietnam's persecution of dissidents has been a roadblock to warmer relations with the United States, from which it is seeking the lifting of an arms embargo.

Image

Image
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Re: Socialist Vietnam frees jailed Fr. Ly ahead of Obama's v

Postby Editor 2 » Sat May 21, 2016 12:14 pm

Saturday May 21, 2016 - Chicago Tribune

Vietnam frees jailed Catholic priest ahead of Obama visit

Vietnam granted early release from prison to a Catholic priest who is one of its most prominent dissidents, a move widely seen as a goodwill gesture before President Barack Obama arrives on an official visit late Sunday night.

The Catholic Archdiocese of the central city of Hue reported on its webpage that it welcomed the return Friday of the Rev. Nguyen Van Ly from prison. Photos on its website showed a frail Ly, 70, being helped off a minibus, kneeling to pay his respects to his senior colleagues, then being led to a room prepared for him at the diocese. He has suffered several health crises while imprisoned.

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A photograph of a closed-circuit television setup in a separate room during 2007 court proceedings against Nguyen Van Ly (seated) in Hue, Vietnam. The government has granted early release from prison to the 70-year-old Catholic priest who had been serving an eight-year prison term for spreading propaganda against the state. (Tran Van Minh / AP)

Father Ly has served several long terms in prison or under house arrest for promoting political and religious freedoms in the communist nation. He was first jailed in 1977, two years after the Communist takeover of all Vietnam.

His early release was for an eight-year prison term he had been serving since March 2007 after being convicted of spreading propaganda against the state. He was released on medical parole in 2010 for 16 months before being sent back to prison in 2011 to resume serving his sentence, to which a five-year probationary period is also attached.
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Re: Socialist Vietnam frees jailed Fr. Ly ahead of Obama's v

Postby Editor 2 » Sat May 21, 2016 12:23 pm

ImageImageImage
Thadeus Nguyễn Văn Lý

Father: Thadeus Nguyễn Văn Lý
Born: Nguyễn Văn Lý
15 May 1946 (age 70)
Vĩnh Chấp, Vĩnh Linh, Quảng Trị, Vietnam
Nationality: Vietnamese
Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation : Roman Catholic priest and political dissident.


In this Vietnamese name, the family name is Nguyễn, but is often simplified to Nguyen in English-language text. According to Vietnamese custom, this person should properly be referred to by the given name Ly.
Father Thadeus Nguyễn Văn Lý (born 15 May 1946) is a Vietnamese Roman Catholic priest and dissident involved in many pro-democracy movements, for which he was imprisoned for a total of almost 15 years.

For his ongoing imprisonment and continuous non-violent protest, Amnesty International adopted Father Lý in December 1983 as a prisoner of conscience. Most recently, his support for the Bloc 8406 manifesto has led to his sentence on 30 March 2007, for an additional eight years in prison, where he was released and then returned in 2011.
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