Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Update on Father Ly in Vietnam

There have been some developments in the case of Vietnamese human rights activist and Catholic Priest Father Nguyen Van Ly in recent days. Father Ly has been the subject of an Amnesty Individual at Risk case file for a number of years.

Father Nguyen Van Ly, who is serving an eight year jail term for spreading “propaganda” against the state in 2007, was yesterday released for a period of 12 months on humanitarian grounds to receive medical treatment. Nguyen Van Ly’s health has rapidly deteriorated in prison. He suffers from partial paralysis following a stroke in November last year and doctors have also discovered a brain tumour.

He will remain under surveillance during the temporary release period while he lives at a house for retired priests in the diocese of the Archbishop of Hue, in central Vietnam, where he has previously stayed.

“Father Ly should never have been detained in the first place. His release should be unconditional and permanent and he should be allowed to receive proper medical care,” said Amnesty International’s Vietnam researcher Brittis Edman. “This small positive step is happening against the backdrop of a deteriorating human rights situation, with 16 dissidents imprisoned in the last six months alone, and dozens more currently detained for criticism of government policies.”

(Full story available at

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