Vietnamese Catholics and non-Catholics
11/07/2012 12:11
Vietnamese Catholics and non-Catholics pray for civil rights and religious freedom
by Br. Paul
In recent weeks government repression has increased, with arrests and detentions for "propaganda against the State". At least 2,500 people, even non-Catholics, take part in a special mass in the former Saigon "for peace and justice"; a united movement in defence of human dignity.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews)-Activists and members of civil society in Vietnam, including a large Catholic mission, have launched a campaign for human rights, freedom of thought and religion, against a Government that continues to repress internal dissent with arrests and prison. Recently the Church of Ho Chi Minh City celebrated a special mass, to pray for peace and justice in the country, which was attended by about 2500 people Catholics and non Catholics. The obsessive control of intellectuals, the repeated invasions of "security forces" in the private life of those who promote activities, initiatives or writing in favour of democracy, have increased the urgency for the birth of a movement aimed at curbing abuses committed "in the name of the law".
Hanoi's Communist Government continues to repress by force those who launch messages, slogans or blog on the web that advocate freedom and civil rights. Local provincial and urban authorities are abusing "the right" to arrest anyone and at any time, regardless of the veracity of the allegations and holding ordinary citizens in prison without trial.
Among the most recent cases is the story of Nguyễn Thị Phương Uyên, a student at the Faculty of food industry in Ho Chi Minh City. The girl is being held in prison in the province of Long An, and her parents are barred from visiting her. She has been charged with the usual and generic, "propaganda against the State". She is guilty of having composed a song in protest against Beijing's expansionism in the South China Sea. So far the appeals of her university companions have proved useless. They have also written a letter to Vietnamese President Trương Tấn Sang, asking for her release.