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Report: 63 Christian leaders in Vietnamese prison camps

Catholic World News - October 10, 2013

63 pastors and other Christian leaders, most of them members of ethnic minorities, are being detained in prison camps in Vietnam, according to International Christian Concern, a US organization that monitors the persecution of Christians.

“Conditions in the prison camps are extremely difficult,” the organization reported. “Inmates [are] subjected to hard labor for up to 14 hours a day during periods of high demand, working on a diet limited to small portions of mixed rice and corn. Disease is rampant, medical treatment is limited, and violence against prisoners is not unheard of. At least one of the prisoners on the list … has reportedly been beaten so badly ‘his mind no longer works.’”

Father Ambrose Nguyen Van Si, the Vietnamese rector of the International College of St. Anthony in Rome, told the Fides news agency that the report is credible.

“There are still clear limitations and restrictions of freedom of expression and conscience: those who have different opinions from those of the government are penalized or sometimes severely punished,” he said.

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