Jailed priest denied Bible

A jailed Catholic Vietnamese priest has been denied owning a Bible and other religious objects while behind bars.

The 60-year-old priest and editor - Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly – was sentenced to eight years in jail in March for alleged “anti-government activity” on charges of disseminating anti-government documents and communicating with pro-democracy activists overseas.

Fr Ly said he was not even permitted sacramental wine nor communion hosts brought to him by two fellow priests.

In a transcript obatained by BosNewsLife, the priest told his sister and cousin he was only allowed to read a legal magazine in his solitary confinement cell in the K1 Prison Camp’ in Ba Sao commune of Vietnam’s northern Ha Nam province.

“Even papers and pen are not allowed to keep, not to mention to Bible,” Ly said.

“I am still in a single confinement cell. The cell floor was refaced with new tiles, to show off to visiting delegations. But until today, there is no delegation visiting me,” he said.

Authorities said Ly, who already spent over 14 years in jail for his pro-democracy activities, was plotting to merge his Vietnam Progression Party with overseas democracy activists and to overthrow the government.

The priest has denied any wrongdoing, saying he is seeking peaceful means to fight for democracy and freedom.

“Myself and many other democracy activists are currently in jail across Vietnam. I will stay in jail until Vietnam authorities admit they still keep any political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.”

Prominent Jailed Priest Denied Bible In Vietnam Prison (BosNewsLife, 30/10/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Fr Nguyen Van Ly (Wikipedia)

Eight years jail for Vietnamese priest (CathNews, 02/04/07)
Vietnamese democracy priests arrested (CathNews, 21/02/07)
Vietnam releases dissident priest (CathNews, 02/02/05)
Vietnamese freedom fighter priest arrested again (CathNews, 21/05/01)

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