UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Catholics condemn lawyer's jail term
Seven-year sentence against Cu Huy Ha Vu 'severe and unjust'Policemen prevent people from approaching the court building
- ucanews.com reporter, Ha Noi
- April 5, 2011
Cu Huy Ha Vu, 54, who was arrested in November, was sentenced to seven years in jail by the Peopleâ€™s Court in Ha Noi for spreading anti-government propaganda.
â€śWe are really disappointed by such a heavy sentence for Vu, who is innocent and loves the nation,â€ť Anna Nguyen Thi Hue, 60, said near the court building.
Hue said she and others from Thai Ha parish â€ścame to support him and pray that justice would be carried out.â€ť
She said hundreds of policemen and plainclothes security officials forcibly dispersed crowds outside the court and prevented people from gathering in streets and parks nearby. They also confiscated cameras and cell phones of people taking photos.
One elderly Catholic from Ham Long parish said the sentence was grossly â€śunjust because he [Vu] was doing nothing to harm the country only expressing his views on political, social and environmental issues.â€ť
The government risks losing the trust of the people, he warned.
On April 2-3, thousands of local Catholics attended candlelight vigils at Bao Long, Ham Long, Thai Ha and Van Phuc parishes to support Vu.
Redemptorist Father Matthew Vu Khoi Phung, head of Thai Ha parish, told 4,000 people at the church on April 2 that Vuâ€™s wife - lawyer Nguyen Thi Duong Ha â€“ and relatives had asked the parish to pray for Vu, even though they are non-Catholics. They also attended the prayers at the church.
Vu is the son of a renowned Vietnamese poet who was a fellow revolutionary and confidant of Ho Chi Minh.
The US department of state issued a statement saying the US was "deeply concerned by the April 4 conviction and sentencing" and "troubled by the apparent lack of due process in the conduct of the trial, and the continued detention of several individuals who were peacefully seeking to observe the proceedings."
"Vuâ€™s conviction runs counter to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and raises serious questions about Vietnamâ€™s commitment to rule of law and reform. No individual should be imprisoned for exercising the right to free speech," read the statement.