Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Pastor sentenced to three years in prison

A Mennonite pastor, Reverend Nguyen Hong Quang, was sentenced to three years imprisonment for "opposing officials who are carrying out their duty", after a half-day trial in HCMC, a court official said Friday (Nov. 12). Five other defendants received sentences ranging between nine months and two years in prison. The Mennonite church is not recognized in Vietnam, and only officially recognized religious groups are allowed to operate under Vietnamese law. Observers say a recent religious ordinance will increase religious restrictions in the country. (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Nov. 12; see also for reports by Human Rights Watch on this trial and the new religious ordinance).


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