Friday, August 6, 2010
Museum on Communism Con Dau Persecution in Vietnam
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CON DAU PERSECUTION IN VIETNAM CONTINUES
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The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation strongly condemns the persecutions of the Con Dau parishioners by the Vietnamese communist regime, which resulted in the death of Nam Nguyen from the beatings that he received at the hands of the police on July 1st, 2010.
This latest incident is part of the intensified repression of the Con Dau Parish since early this year. The local authorities announced their plan to relocate the residents of this 135 year old Parish, as well as its cemetery, to build a tourist resort.
In May of this year, Mrs. Mary Tan, a religious woman, died and her family planned to honor her wish by burying her alongside her husband at the cemetery. Hundreds of local villagers were attending her funeral as the local police intervened to stop the procession. Mrs. Tan's casket was taken away and was cremated against the family's wish. It is reported that more than 100 people were beaten for accompanying the funeral, many of them severely wounded. Since then, 59 people of Con Dau Parish have been arrested and tortured because of their beliefs and six have been charged with "disturbing public order."
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation stands with the people of Con Dau parish. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this outrageous violation of human rights.
Lee Edwards, Ph.D.
Sucesos en Mayo
Hanoi intensifies repression: six Con Dau faithful charged
by J.B. An Dang
Indicted for clashes in wake of police attack on faithful attempting to bury parishioner in centuries old parish cemetery. The body was forcibly taken and cremated. Government denies incident. State media portray charges as a victory.
Hanoi (AsiaNews) - Six parishioners Con Dau have been reported to provincial authorities in Da Nang for "disturbing public order" and "attacking state security personnel who were performing their lawful duty”. The charges relate to what happened on May 4 during the funeral procession of 82 year old Mary Tan. The police intervened to prevent the burial in the local cemetery. For almost an hour there were clashes (see photo) between 500 faithful and police, who wounded many Catholics and arrested 59 people.
The coffin was taken from the woman's family and was later cremated, against the wishes she had expressed, to be buried alongside her beloved husband and members of his family, in the old parish cemetery.
The Vietnamese government denied that Catholics were arrested or injured. According to Foreign Ministry spokesman, Nguyen Phuong Nga, "this information is false and is intended only to slander Vietnam". "The truth - he said - is that this affair has nothing to do with religion."
Instead the bishop of Da Nang in central Vietnam, Mgr. Joseph Chau Ngoc Tri, denounced the incident in a pastoral letter dated May 6, in which he condemned the episode and asked the faithful and authorities to control themselves to avoid further violence. "The police is searching for other faithful," wrote the bishop.
The fact is that the peaceful life of Con Dau was overturned earlier this year by the local authorities' decision to demolish all the houses in the parish, created 135 years ago to create a tourist resort, without offering fair compensation or support for resettlement. The cemetery of the parish covers an area of 10 hectares, about a mile from the church. For 135 years is has been the only burial place for the faithful and was previously included in the government’s list of protected historical sites. That was until March 10, when security agents put a sign at the entrance to the cemetery with the inscription "No burials in this area." When a parishioner went to protest, the head of the police sprayed tear gas in his face, causing him to pass out.
At the news of the attack, other residents gathered at the cemetery and demanded the police to call an ambulance to treat the wounded man.
A week before these events, a member of the Patriotic Front and two officials from the Religious Affairs Bureau had visited the parish, to invite the priest to warn the faithful against continued burials in the cemetery. The priest refused, saying the cemetery and the parish belong to the same village and that there are documents that prove ownership. Residents continue to oppose the proposal that will lead to destruction of their homes, their land and the resting place of their ancestors. The authorities, however, are pushing ahead and have threatened that soon they will be sending bulldozers to clear the parish.
Beyond the seriousness of what has happened, the fear among Catholics is that the authorities are preparing to launch a new wave of persecution against the faithful. Both the episode in Dau, and the recent resignation of the Archbishop of Hanoi have been presented by the government media as "victories" of the authorities, even internationally, demonstrating the absolute power of the government, which has also succeeded in subjugating the Pope.
A Con Dau Catholic dies shortly after being released by police
VietCatholic News (06 Jul 2010 06:29)
guyen Nam was one of the faithful arrested, harassed and beaten since last May, following protests raised by the authorities' decision to use the area of the ancient cemetery of the village to build a tourist centre.
Da Nang (AsiaNews) - Nam Nguyen, a Catholic from Con Dau parish, in the Diocese of Da Nang died last Saturday, just hours after being released by police. The man, already in recent months, had been arrested, beaten and threatened by agents, following protests from residents over the closure of the cemetery of the parish and the announced destruction of their homes to build a tourist centre.
It all started earlier this year, with the local authorities decision to demolish all the houses in the parish, created 135 years ago to build the resort, without offering fair compensation or aid for resettlement. The cemetery of the parish covers an area of 10 hectares, about a mile from the church. For 135 years it has been the only burial place for the faithful and in the past, it was listed in the historical sites protected by the government. Until March 10, when security agents put a sign at the entrance of the cemetery with the inscription "Burials are forbidden in this area". When a parishioner went to protest, the head of the police sprayed tear gas in his face, causing him to faint.
On May 4, during the procession for the funeral of Mary Tan, 82, police intervened to prevent the burial in the cemetery. For almost an hour there were clashes (pictured) between the 500 parishioners and agents, leaving many Catholics wounded and 59 people arrested. The coffin was taken from the woman's family and was later cremated, against the wishes she had expressed, to be buried next to her husband and members of his family, in the old parish cemetery.
The Vietnamese government denied that there were Catholics arrested or injured. According to the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Nguyen Phuong Nga, "this information is false and aimed only at slandering Vietnam". "The truth - he said - is that this affair has nothing to do with religion”.
Instead the incident was denounced by the bishop of Da Nang in central Vietnam, Mgr. Joseph Chau Ngoc Tri, who in a pastoral letter of May 6 condemned the incident and asked the faithful and controlling authorities to avoid further violence. "The police went in search of other faithful," wrote the bishop.
His claims were backed up by the news that on May 17, six parishioners were charged by the authorities of the province of Da Nang for "disturbing public order" and "attacking state security and administration personnel who were carrying out their duties according to law. "
Among the six, Nam Nguyen, who was arrested and released. Subsequently he was again summoned by the officials, who tried to force him to lay charges against other faithful. Upon his refusal he was savagely beaten. Saturday he was released and a few hours later, he died. Fear now reigns in the village.