Monday, November 29, 2004

Clergy protest trial of Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang

Three Catholic priests and 20 leading Protestant clergy wrote appeals protesting the trial of Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang, who was sentenced to three years imprisonment for "opposing officials who are carrying out their duty", after a half-day trial in HCM City Nov. 12 (see Nov. 17 entry below). Both statements were written to authorities before the trial.
The Nov. 10 Catholic appeal was written by Fr. Chan Tin, well known for his human rights activism since he began working for political prisoners in South Vietnam during the war, co-signed by Rev.Nguyen Huu Giai and Rev. Phan Van Loi. In the appeal, the priests expressed their concern over that the trial would be unfair, as in similar political trials, and that the family of Rev. Quang had not been allowed time to prepare a defense. The other appeal was signed Nov. 5 by 20 protestant pastors affiliated with the Vietnam Evangelical Fellowship, of which Rev. Quang headed its legal office. The pastors urged his immediate release and asked for an end to the government-directed media campaign against him. (English translation of both letters posted by Hy Tran to soc.culture.vietnamese usenet group Nov. 26).


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