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Vietnamese Catholic activist 'abducted by police'

Bloggers say Nang Tinh was arrested for joining the US-based Viet Tan pro-democracy group

ucanews.com reporter, Hanoi

ucanews.com reporter, Hanoi

Published: May 30, 2019 09:27 AM GMT

Updated: May 30, 2019 09:34 AM GMT

Vietnamese Catholic activist 'abducted by police'

Nguyen Nang Tinh (left) is given a gift on Teachers’ Day on Nov. 20, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Tinh Nguyen)

Police in Vietnam have been accused of abducting a Catholic advocate for social and charitable activities.

Nguyen Thi Tinh said her husband Nguyen Nang Tinh was seized and pushed into a truck by police officers while he and their two sons were on their way to have breakfast on May 29.

She said police later asked her father-in-law to get the sons from the police station. Her eldest son is just 7 years old.

Nang Tinh, 43, had taken their two sons to their home in Vinh City, the capital of Nghe An province, from Ho Chi Minh City where she works.

She said police “have no heart to separate our children from their father.” The woman said they had not done anything wrong. She said law enforcement officers should have acted according to laws and their conscience.

Government-supported bloggers or online opinion sharpeners reported that Nang Tinh was arrested for joining the Viet Tan pro-democracy group based in the United States. Vietnam lists the group as reactionary and a terrorist organization.

They said police searched Nang Tinh’s house and took away his materials relating to his “crimes.”

They also threatened to arrest other activists including Fathers Anthony Dang Huu Nam and John Baptist Nguyen Dinh Thuc, whom they described as reactionaries.

Blogger Paul Tran Minh Nhat said Nang Tinh’s family has not been informed about why he was seized.

Nhat said Nang Tinh, who teaches music at a public college of culture and arts in Vinh City, is an amiable man and heavily involved in rights, justice, cultural and religious activities at parishes in Vinh Diocese. He gives material and spiritual support to victims of social injustice.

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He suffers from kidney stones and had made plans to have medical treatment before his arrest.

On May 29, hundreds of Catholics gathered at My Khanh Church in the province to pray for Nang Tinh to bravely bear witness to justice and truth.

Presiding at the special gathering, Father Nam told the community that “I will be happy if communists hate, persecute, imprison or kill me as they have said because in that way I know I belong to God, the Church, the truth and you.”

Vietnam holds 128 prisoners of conscience, according to Amnesty International’s most recent report.

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