Posted by: becketfund | November 14, 2006

Vietnam: Removed from List of Worst Religious Freedom Violators

The US State Department issued its 2006 list of “Countries of Particular Concern,” list of nations with the most egregious violations of religious freedom. Changes include the addition of Uzbekistan for harassment and imprisonment of Muslims and strict government repression of religious activity, and the removal of Vietnam, a country considered to have made significant steps to correct their record of abuses.  Vietnam was added to the list in 2004 for violations of religious freedom which included prohibiting religious practice, jailing participants, and forcing believers to renounce their faith.  However, thousands of prisoners remain in detention because of their faith, and the government has failed to announce the withdrawal of administrative detention decree 31/CP, which permits detention without trial. Although the State Department has said that Vietnam agreed to scrap the measure, to date Hanoi has not made a formal announcement. The CPC list now includes Burma, China, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekistan.

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