Vietnam: Catholic activist sent back to prison in new crackdown


Date:                                     September 26, 2017


Vietnam has sentenced a Catholic former prisoner of conscience to five years in prison for resisting arrest and violating probation terms, reports UCA News (UCAN).

Nguyen Van Oai, 36, was arrested in January by plain clothes police and accused of breaking probation terms after leaving his locality for a fishing trip.

His new sentence includes three years for resisting the police, two years for violating his probation, and another four years on probation.

Van Oai’s lawyer has denied his client committed the crimes.

More than 20 bloggers and activists have been detained in Vietnam this year, as the communist government cracks down on dissent, according to UCAN.

Van Oai was originally arrested during a 2011 crackdown against bloggers and other activists with ties to human- and religious-rights groups. He was serving a four-year term of probation after his early release from prison in 2015.

Vietnam is updating Decree 92, a religious law that is likely to be implemented in January 2018. Rights specialists say the law could be used to confine, control, and create problems for the Church.

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