UCA News

Vietnam

Vietnamese activist detained on way to meet US delegation

Wife of jailed pastor provided report on religious freedom

ucanews.com correspondent, Ho Chi Minh City

ucanews.com correspondent, Ho Chi Minh City

Updated: April 04, 2016 08:41 AM GMT
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Vietnamese activist detained on way to meet US delegation

David Saperstein, U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, center, white shirt, and activist Tran Thi Hong, fourth from left, pose with other U.S. officials and Hong's family members at her home March 30. (Photo courtesy of Nguyen Thien Nhan)

Share this article :
The wife of an imprisoned Protestant minister was detained by Vietnamese security officers as she was on her way to meet with a U.S. delegation on religious freedom.

Tran Thi Hong eventually met the four-member delegation, led by David Saperstein, U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

"Police tried to prevent me from meeting the delegation. I planned to tell them about government religious freedom violations against my husband and other religious ethnic prisoners," Hong told the Redemptorist communication network.   

Hong's husband, Nguyen Cong Chinh, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2011 for allegedly campaigning against the government and undermining national unity. 

At their March 30 meeting, Hong said she presented to the delegation a report detailing the poor treatment and human rights abuses against her jailed husband and other prisoners from ethnic minority groups. She also provided a list of prisoners of conscience.

Chinh defended the religious liberty of ethnic minority groups in Kontum province where authorities had destroyed his chapel house. His denomination is one of various Christian groups that do not have government approval.

Hong, an active member of the human rights group, Vietnamese Women for Human Rights, told the Redemptorist-run website, www.tinmungchonguoingheo.com, that she was stopped and manhandled by 10 plainclothes police officers while on her way to meet the delegation. The police officers then took her back home.

The delegation met  Hong at her home several hours later under the watchful eye of security officials.

Hong said police have remained outside her home for years and often follow her when she takes her children to school.

U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Vietnam in May during a trip to Asia.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
 
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM

Publisher

Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."