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Monday, 27 April 2015

Biography of Father Nguyen Van Ly

Biography of Father Nguyen Van Ly
(composed by Father Phan van Loi)
Description : Description : image
    - Reverend Nguyen Van Ly, with the Christen name Thadeus, born on August 31, 1947 (birth certificate recorded May 15, 1946) at Ba Dinh Village (Ba Ngoat Parish), Vinh Chap District, Vinh Linh County, Quang Tri Province. His father is Thadeus Nguyen Van San, his mother is Maria Tran Thi Kinh.
    - On June 27, 1963, Nguyen Van Ly was sponsored and then introduced by Rev Nguyen Nhu Tu to Hoan Thien Lower Seminary in Hue.
    - In 1966, Nguyen Van Ly entered Xuan Bich Seminary in Hue.
    - On April 30, 1974, Nguyen Van Ly was given ordination at Phu Cam Cathedral in Hue by Archbishop Nguyen Kim Đien.     
    - After becoming a priest, Rev Nguyen Van Ly enrolled in the Missionary created by Archbishop Nguyen Kim Dien which focused in regions with poor people and he was assigned to missionary parish in Go Vap District, Gia Dinh Province, from July 14, 1974 to March 22, 1975.   
    - On March 25, 1975, after knowing Hue had been fallen to the North Vietnam Army, Nguyen Van Ly risked his life to try to go from Saigon to Hue. Then he was appointed by Archbishop Nguyen Kim Dien to be his secretary from April 10, 1975.
Rev. Nguyen Van Ly struggle for religious freedom in Vietnam
    - On September 7, 1977, Rev. Nguyen Van Ly, in relation two writings by Archbishop Nguyen Kim Dien condemed the communist government of Vietnam intentionally sabotaged all religions, was jailed by Vietnam authority under the charge of “conducting propaganda against the State” and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was kept at Thua Phu Prison (in Hue). On December 24, 1977, he was released on the eve of Vietnam application to be a member of United Nation.
    - In July 1978, under the government pressure, Archbishop in Hue was forced to transfer Rev. Nguyen Van Ly to be pastor of Doc So Parish, Huong So Village, Hue City. Rev. Ly managed the parish as if religious freedom was normally acknowledged as in Vietnam Constitution. He organized masses without asking government permissions. He turned on radio with loudspeakers put in front of his church for people to listen to catholic news from Vatican and Manila. All this finally got local government attention and they tried to clamp down his “religious freedom activities. From what the local government did to silence him, he wrote 7 letters sent to central government to protest.              
    - On January 17, 1983, authority in Binh Tri Thien Province decided to drive Father Ly out of Doc So Parish to be back to his parents home in Quang Bien Parish, Thong Nhat County, Dong Nai Province, but Father Ly refused to go and insisted in staying at Doc So. There were many catholics circling the church to keep him safe.  
    - On the morning of May 18, 1983, police used force to arrest him at his church.  
    - On December 13, 1983, the people's court of Binh Tri Thien Province charged him with “sabotage people unity and disturbing social order“ and sentenced him, with many fake evidences, to 10 years in prison and 4 years probation. He was jailed at Nam Ha prison until July 31, 1992.
    - From July 31, 1992 to July 30, 1995, Father Ly was confined at residence of archdiocese in Hue, 69 Phan Dinh Phung Street, Hue City.
    - On November 24, 1994, at Vietnamese Martyrs Ceremony, Father Nguyen Van Ly announced Ten Points Proclamation about the true situation of Catholics in Hue Diocese. The Proclamation made the local government angry and he was called to the police station many times in many months.      
    - For this reason, from July 3, 1995, he was transfered to Nguyet Bieu Parish in Thuy Bieu Village, Hue City to be watched. Rev. Tran Van Quy was the pastor of the parish (resided in Truong An Village, Tho Duc District, Hue City).
    - On November 24, 2000, at Nguyet Bieu Parish, Father Ly reannouced the Ten Points Proclamation and issued the call to people to struggle for religious freedom, human rights and democracy (from the 7 protesting letters mentioned ealier)
    - On December 4, 2000, in order to protest the local authority illegally grasping 3 small rice parcels belonged to the church, Father Nguyen Van Ly and catholics of Nguyet Bieu raised a banner on those rice parcels which said “We need religious freedom".     
    - On January 30, 2001, Father Ly publicly testified about the death of Archbishop Philippe Nguyen Kim Dien (1921-1988) who was murdered by the Vietnamese government on June 8, 1988.
    - On February 5, 2001, with the pressure from the government, Father Ly was transfered again to An Truyen Parish, Phu An Village, Phu Vang County, Thua Thien Province. At this parish, he wrote two proclamations number 8 and 9. Number 9 was the last one and issued on February 20, 2001.  
    - On February 13, 2001, Father Ly wrote the first testimony to report the religious freedom violations of the government in Vietnam which was read before Unites States Commission on International Religious Freedom in Washington D.C. On May 16, 2001, the second testimony was read before the Unites States House of Represintatives reported on brutally oppressive acts of Vietnam government toward various religious groups.  
    - On May 17, 2001, the local government sent about 600 police to An Truyen Parish to arrest Father Ly.  
    - On October 19, 2001, Father Ly was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the people's court on the charge of "refuse to follow probation terms" and "disturbing government policy of coorperation".
    - On December 12, 2002, Father Nguyen Van Ly was given the Human Rights Award by Vietnam Human Rights Network in United States. Honorable Thich Quang Do was also given an Award at the same time.
    - On June 16, 2003, Father Nguyen Van Ly was given the Homo Homini Award by People in Need (a Czech NGO), with the same for Honerable Thich Huyen Quang and Thich Quang Đo.
    - On June 26, 2004, Father Ly was given the Shalom Award at Eichstätt-Ingolstadt Catholic University.
    - On February 2, 2005, Father Ly was released from prison but under surveillance at Catholic Diocese home in Hue.
    - On April 8, 2006, Father Ly, with several other activists, formed "Bloc 8406". After that, he wrote several articles urging people to boycott Congress Election of 2007 and help created the underground paper "Free Speech" with the first issue on April 15, 2006.  
    - On August 22, 2006, Father Ly signed on the "Proclamation on Democracy Road" created by Bloc 8406.
    - On October 16, 2006, Father Ly created Human Rights and Democracy Alliance with several activists.
    - On February 18, 2007, local police searched his home at Hue Diocese and confiscated his computer and cell phone which he used to communicate with other activists.
    - On February 24, 2007, he was orderd by police not to leave his residence and was moved to Ben Cui Parish, 20 km north of Hue.
    - On the evening of March 29, 2007, police arrested Father Ly at Ben Cui Parish and brought him to People's Court the following morning, March 30, 2007. He was sentenced by the court to 8 years in prison and 5 years probation on the charge of "propagating against the state".
    - The next day, Father Ly was transported to Ba Sao prison in Nam Ha, Kim Bang County, Ha Nam Province.
    - On July 22, 2008, Father Ly was given Hellman-Hammett Award by Human Rights Watch.
    - On March 15, 2010, Father Ly was temporarily released from prison and brought back to Hue Diocese home for medical treatment.
    - During this time, Father Ly continued his struggle against the communist government by charging the Communist Party of two crimes: treason and collaboration with China invader (on December 21, 2010, with several people signed on). He sent the government letters to counter charge them of arresting him illegally the fourth time (on August 8, 2010 and March 24, 2011). He issued testification about 20 torturing techniques used by the state on prisoners (on June 8, 2010). Since he didn't get any response from the government, he sent the ultimatum to the Communist Poliburo on June 24, 2011 and issued 45 appeals continually to the public calling for protesting the government (the last appeal was on July 22, 2011).   
    - On July 25, 2011, Father Ly was brought back to Nam Ha prison in the middle of the medical treatment period. In prison, he continued his protest by holding hunger strike, refusing medical treatment of the prison authority, expressing openly his rightful thinking to prison guards as well as foreign visitors
. Noticebly on November 3, 2011, Father Ly refused the offer to go abroad for medical treatment from representatives of three countries, U.S., Canada and Autralia.     

                                                    

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