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Vietnamese priest honored for courageous journalism

Catholic World News - May 08, 2014

Reporters Without Borders, an organization that monitors attacks on the freedom of the press, has named a Vietnamese priest one of its 100 “information heroes” because of his work amid Communist government harassment.

In its citation, Reporters Without Borders noted that Father Anton le Ngoc Thanh

is a journalist and a Catholic priest. His work for Vietnam Redemporist News, a Catholic news organization for which he has worked since the 1990s, has caused him numerous problems with the Vietnamese authorities. In 2012 he was stopped for questioning on his way to Bac Lieu in the south of the country, where a woman had set fire to herself in protest against her daughter, the blogger Ta Phong Tan, being put on trial. He was held for several hours for causing a traffic accident while travelling on foot.

He was arrested again last year during a demonstration in support of the blogger and activist Dinh Nhat Uy, convicted for organizing a campaign for the release of his jailed younger brother. Thanh is under constant police surveillance and is frequently prevented from covering and publicizing the human rights abuses that he has witnessed.

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