VRNs (August 02, 2013) – Nghe An – The cloud of bewilderment and indignation has covered My Yen parish since Nghe An police abducted two of its parishioners on June 27, 2013.
Mr. Ngo Van Khoi, born in 1960, resident of Village 14, Phuong Nghi Commune, Nghi Loc District, Nghe An Province, was abducted by a group of strangers while on his way to attend a wedding around noon on June 27, 2013. After 8 days of his missing, his family learned that the kidnappers are Nghe An police when they received the notice informing them the victim is being “prosecuted and detained” for allegedly “disturbing public order.” On a similar case, Mr. Nguyen Van Hai, born in 1970, resident of Village 11, Phuong Nghi Commune, Nghi Loc District, Nghe An Province, was also stopped and abducted by strangers while taking his nephew to Vinh City for a medical examination.
Facing with this kind of trouble, My Yen parish sets up a curfew to maintain order throughout the parish, holds daily prayer, and hangs banners to protest against illegal actions of Nghe An authorities.
The mood of anxiety and anger experienced by villagers and parishioners is, understandably, extremely difficult to control. They insist the authorities and police often use this shameful method to carry out their illegal and shadowy wills. Taking advantage of the kindness, honesty and limited knowledge of laws and human rights of villagers, police often oppress villagers for achieving their purpose with illegal actions. The kidnaps of these two parishioners are also no exception because the victims are very virtuous, gentle and naive.
This is a sinister plot to prevent the daily flow of pilgrimage from coming to Trai Gao holy shrine to pray and give thanks to Saint Anthony. Meanwhile, it also covers up the illegal actions in violation of the law on freedom of religion committed by the authorities. Affected by inherent lumpen, when their dark plot is brought to light, the authorities always abuse the power they have to defame, label and accuse the victims falsely. This is particularly true in the kidnapping cases of two My Yen parishioners.
The charge of “disturbing public order” that police and authorities of Nghi Loc District and Nghe An Province use to indict the two My Yen parishioners is the result of the described incident as follows:
Around 6 pm on May 22, 2013, a group of strangers illegally blocked the roads, stopped motorcycles, and searched luggage of the pilgrims those who were on their way to attend a holy mass at Trai Gao holy shrine of My Yen parish, Vinh Diocese. Frustrated by such illegally actions, the pilgrims and parishioners of My Yen parish demanded those strangers to reveal their identity and the reason for the stop and search. The strangers refused to answer the questions; therefore, an argument and confrontation happened. My Yen parish had submitted a report of that incident to the Diocesan Office in Xa Doai.
It is noteworthy that, while the incident had been happening, parish coordinators had contacted the diocesan Bishop to ask for intervention because parishioners were very angry. Meanwhile, police of Nghi Loc District and Nghe An Province also called Bishop Nguyen Thai Hop to discuss the situation and agreed to send representatives to the scene to resolve the problems, but they did not come as promised. On the contrary, the authorities then sent official notices to the diocesan office for blaming and intimidating.
In addition to two abducted parishioners, about 50 other My Yen parishioners have received summons from Nghe An police for no reason as police simply wrote down the reason for the summons as “to work.” Certainly, My Yen parishioners will have to face with more harassment in the coming days.
We will continue to post more information about this case in order to reveal the illegal actions to distort the truth committed by authorities and police of Nghi Loc District and Nghe An Province.
Translated by Nhu Ngoc
The summons from Nghe An police