Vietnamese police in violent crackdown on Catholic demonstrators
September 06, 2013
Police fired shots in the air and attacked with clubs to disperse a group of Catholic demonstrators at a parish church in north-central Vietnam last week. Dozens of demonstrators were treated for injuries after the confrontation.
A group of about 300 Catholics had gathered at the Redemptorist church in My Yen, to protest the continued imprisonment of two parishioners who were arrested in June and have been held without formal charges. Police had announced that the two men—who had been outspoken advocates of religious freedom--would soon be released, but failed to fulfill that promise.
After demonstrating at local government offices, parishioners gathered outside the church, holding banners to call attention to the prisoners’ situation. Police dispersed the crowd in a violent assault—the latest in a series of confrontations in which Vietnamese authorities have cracked down on Catholic parishioners seeking to dramatize the government's restrictions on the Church.