Friday, December 18, 2009

Vietnam: End Attacks on Bat Nha Buddhists

EU, Other Donors Should Condemn Officials’ Complicity in Pagoda Siege

Heavy-handed tactics by Vietnam's central government to disband followers of Thich Nhat Hanh, a prominent Buddhist monk who has called for religious reforms, illustrate Vietnam's ongoing contempt for human rights and religious freedom, Human Rights Watch said today.

For three days, beginning December 9, 2009, orchestrated mobs that included undercover police and local communist party officials terrorized and assaulted several hundred monks and nuns at Phuoc Hue pagoda in central Lam Dong province. Phuoc Hue's abbot has provided sanctuary to the monastics since late September, when police and civilian mobs violently expelled them from their own monastery of Bat Nha, located in the same commune.

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