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Ailing Vietnam priest sent back to prison

Vietnamese authorities have forced activist priest Fr Nguyen Van Ly back to prison, said reports in the Washington Post and BBC.

Screenshot from a video of Fr Ly's 2007 court proceedings Screenshot from a video of Fr Ly's 2007 court proceedings
  • Vietnam
  • July 26, 2011
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An ailing priest and democracy activist in Vietnam was taken back to prison, more than a year after he was sent home to seek treatment for a brain tumour, said an AP report in the Washington Post and a BBC report.

Fr Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, 64, was escorted by police Monday night from his home at a church in central Hue city to Ba Sao prison outside the northern capital of Hanoi, a prison official said on condition of anonymity, citing policy, the report in the Washington Post said.

His eight-year prison sentence for subversion had been suspended in March of last year to allow him to seek treatment for his illness, the BBC said. The condition of his health was not clear following news of his re-arrest on Monday.

The government said he had been distributing anti-government writings.

An official told the AP that the priest's one-year medical parole expired March 15 and he defied a court order to send him back to jail, the official said, adding that authorities had to force him back to prison.

In March 2010, he was released from prison because he had a brain tumor and had suffered three strokes during his three years in custody.

“His health is better than the time when he was released, but for a man who had suffered strokes, it’s hard to recover fully,” the official said.

Fr Ly, who uses crutches to help him walk, was in “normal health condition” after making the 300-mile (500-kilometer) trip from Hue to the prison, according to the official.

He has been in and out of prison and house arrest for years, most recently for helping found a group called Bloc 8406, which promotes multiparty democracy.

FULL STORY AND RELATED COVERAGE

Vietnam re-arrests ailing dissident priest Van Ly (BBC)

Vietnam sends ailing dissident priest back to jail after more than a year of medical parole (Washington Post/AP)

Dissident priest re-arrested in Vietnam: sources (Google News/AFP)

Nguyen Van Ly returns to prison (Viet Nam News)

PHOTO CREDIT

Screenshot from a video of Fr Ly's 2007 trial, uploaded to YouTube
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