Posted by: becketfund | April 10, 2008

Vietnam: Government Uses National Media Against Catholic Demonstrators

HANOI – Vietnamese authorities have used the country’s media outlets to launch a smear campaign and calls for action against Catholics demonstrating in Hanoi, AsiaNews reported on April 10. The demonstrations are related to a property dispute: the Redemptorists, a Catholic missionary order, have asked for the restitution of 60,000 square meters of land on which they had built a church, a convent, and a seminary. The land was taken from the order in 1928, and in 1954, many of the order were imprisoned by the government or deported. Broadcasts in Vietnamese claim that the demonstrators are “occupying state property, disturbing the public order, and holding illegal prayer meetings” and call for “drastic action”, though the media is careful to keep such broadcasts out of the country’s French and English media, which is geared towards foreigners.

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