VietCatholic News (Thứ Năm 23/10/2008 15:31)
Bộ Ngoại Giao-Bộ Phận 4 Nhân Quyền
Bộ Ngoại Giao Liên Bang Thúy-Sĩ ( FDFA)
Chi Nhánh Chính Trị Nhân Quyền
Kính gửi Ông Hồ Nam Trân,
Chúng tôi xin cám ơn Ông đã chyển tới chúng tôi tin tức liên quan tới tình trạng tại Việt Nam. Thật thế, chúng tôi đã nhận được các báo cáo báo động những căng thẳng giữa Giáo dân của GHCG và chính phủ Việt Nam, và đặc biệt riêng đối với sự giao động của bình yên tôn giáo trong Giáo xứ Thái Hà quận Đống Đa tại Hà Nội.
Bảo vệ và phát huy Nhận Quyền, đã được nằm sâu trong Hiến Pháp của Liên Bang Thúy-sĩ, như một mục tiêu của chính trị ngoại giao của Quốc gia Thúy-sĩ, và lẽ đương nhiên. chúng tôi đặt một tầm quan trọng lớn lao vào chính trị ấy. Cho tiến trình nêu trên, từ nhiều năm qua, quốc gia Thúy-sĩ đã dấn thân vào việc cải thiện tình trạng Nhân Quyền trên toàn thế giới. Một chú ý đặc biệt tới quyền toàn vẹn thề xác, tự do tôn giáo và các quyền của thành phần thiểu số. Quốc gia Thúy-sĩ tích cực tham gia vào các tổ chức Nhân Quyền của các tổ chức quốc tế như ONU và OSCE để bảo vệ và thăng tiến tự do tôn giáo cũng như lấy các biện pháp ngăn ngừa bất cứ một hình thức nào đó không dung túng tôn giáo. Ngoài ra, chính quyền Thúy-sĩ tham gia vào các đối thoại nhị phương liên quan tới các vi phạm tự do tôn giáo với những nước bị quan tâm về vấn đề nầy. Từ nhiều năm quốc gia Thúy-sĩ đã liên tiếp đối thoại với Việt Nam về Nhân Quyền, tự do tôn giáo và quyền thiếu số xem như hai trọng tâm.
Chúng tôi có thể qủa quyết với Ông rằng Bộ chúng tôi đang theo giõi tình trạng các Giáo dân Công Giáo tại Việt Nam và theo sát tình trạng tỗng quát Nhân Quyền và sẽ tiếp tục làm việc một cách tích cực để bảo vệ và thăng tiến Nhân Quyền. Để kết thúc chúng tôi mong muốn tiện dịp nầy cám ơn Ông về sự quan tâm của ông cho vấn đề bảo vệ Nhân Quyền và tự do tôn giáo tại Việt Nam.
Xin Kính Ông
Bộ Ngoại Giao Liên Bang Thúy-Sĩ ( FDFA)
Chi Nhánh Chính Trị Nhân Quyền
"_EDA-PA 4 Menschenrechte"
Dear Mr. Hồ Nam Trân
Thank you very much for your message concerning the situation in Vietnam. We have already received information with regard to the alarming reports about the tensions between supporters of the Catholic church and the Vietnamese government, and in particular in respect of the disruption of religious peace in the Catholic community of Thai Ha in the Dong Da district of Hanoi. The protection and promotion of human rights is anchored in the federal constitution as a goal of Swiss foreign policy and consequently great importance is attached to it. In line with this Switzerland has been committed for many years to improving the human rights situation worldwide. Particular importance is attached to the right to physical integrity, freedom of religion and the rights of members of minority groups. Switzerland actively participates in the relevant bodies of international organizations such as the UN and the OSCE to protect and promote religious freedom as well as to take preventative measures against any form of religious intolerance. In addition to this the Swiss authorities also engage in bilateral discussions concerning violations of religious freedom with those countries affected by it. Switzerland has been conducting a human rights dialogue with Vietnam for a number of years, with religious freedom and the rights of minorities as two central issues.
We can assure you that our Department is monitoring the situation of Catholic Christians in Vietnam and the human rights situation in general very closely and will continue to work actively to protect and promote human rights. In conclusion we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in the protection and promotion of human rights and religious freedom in Vietnam.
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)
Human Rights Policy Section
En date de: Ven 26.9.08, Ts Hong Linh
De: Ts Hong Linh
Objet: UNE REQUÊTE!
À: "Calmy-Rey Micheline EDA MCR"
Date: Vendredi 26 Septembre 2008, 12h19
Madame le Ministre Calmy-Rey,
We are writing this letter to inform you about the recent religious and human rights violations against Catholics by the Vietnam government.
At this hour, numerous Catholics are still being detained indefinitely in jail, the Archbishop of Hanoi and several leaders of the Redemptorist Congregation in Hanoi have been subjects of a governmental campaign of public defamation. They have also been threatened of legal actions against them for what the government accused of as inciting and organizing protests among the faithful in order to gain public sympathy with their cause. Church's property including buildings and religious items have been vandalized or ransacked in broad daylight, not to mention the priests and the pacific demonstrators are being harassed daily by vicious thugs who would stop at nothing to terrorize and to insult these innocent victims. We the Catholic Church as a whole are now the subject of our government persecution by definition.
As you might have known, since Dec. 18, 2007, Hanoi Catholics have been organizing daily prayer vigils outside the former nunciature in Hanoi, pleading for the return of the building that had been confiscated unlawfully by the communist regime since 1959. The protests only came to a halt when the government agreed to return the property on Feb. 1, 2008. As understood by both sides, this returning process by the Vietnamese government was to be carried out in steps. Regrettably, it managed to delay the process through various bureaucratic maneuvers.
The conflict took a surprised turn on Sept. 19, 2008, when the government suddenly announced the demolition of the nunciature to "make room for a playground" and the government didn't waste any time to have the plan carried out with full support from its armed forces. This action clearly contradicts with the policy of dialogue that the Catholic Church and Vietnam government have pursued. It in fact insults the legitimate aspirations of the Hanoi Catholic community, ridicules the law written by their own party, and fails to honor the words they gave our Church in Vietnam on the issue at hand.
Also in Thai Ha parish, where Redemptorist priests and their faithful have always been persistent in requesting for their land illegally seized by the state after majority of Redemptorists moved South following the 1954 Geneva Agreement, peaceful prayer vigils continued. The public outcry and protests came as a result after Thai Ha parishioners discovered that local government officials had secretly sold their land to private entities. These victims in their desperation were left with no choice other than holding peaceful protests completely complying with Vietnam law to call out for justice from the authorities since Jan. 5, 2008.
Vietnamese government has not listened to them and repeatedly attempted to silence them by using great mass of police and security forces, militiamen, and even street gang members to achieve what their terroristic and hostile agenda was set for.
Just last month, the communist government launched a terrorizing campaign against Hanoi Catholics, starting with a threat to use "extreme actions" against Catholic priests. It was followed by a series of mockeries and distortions against Catholics and the Church. In addition with effort to ignite public outrage and negative sentiment against Hanoi clergies and the Church as a whole, the campaign had gone further with a series of arrests and violence. Numerous priests and lay people were kicked and beaten brutally by police when they peacefully requested for the release of detainees on Aug. 28.
At the Redemptorist monastery, known as the center of a property dispute, police threw tear gas into faithful who were attending a religious procession on Sunday Aug. 31. More than 30 faithful, most of them were women and children, suffered badly from tear gas inhalation. 20 were hospitalized. Even worse, street gang members attacked a chapel at the church from late Sunday night Sept. 21 through early Monday morning Sept. 22 under indifferent eyes of police and city officials.
On the evening of the same day, a gang of more than 200 youths wearing the blue shirts of the Youth Communist League came to Thai Ha church to harass and spit on the face of our priests, religious and faithful. This was to follow a series of event last week when another group of thugs came to dump used-motor oil and foul-smelling liquid on to the altar which was adorned with religious icons and a statue of Our Lady.
Hanoi's People Committee also joined the chorus of power abuse by tailoring and taking out of context the statement made by Hanoi's archbishop. It then went on with using state owned mass media to question his patriotism in an obvious attempt to deceit and incite socially negative sentiments against the archbishop and the Church who have no means to tell their side of the story.
A series of attacks against Catholics, as a result of the government's general hate campaign against the Church was then broken out. Gang ransacked churches, destroyed statues and books while shouting death threats against the clergy and religious, Catholic faithful, and the Archbishop of Hanoi in particular. These acts of violence happened boldly in clear view and in front of a large number of public officials and police, but they did nothing to protect the Catholics as they claimed these actions were attributed for "the fury of people".
As Church-state tensions have kept continuously building- up and can be escalated into a potential bloodshed, we desperately hope that you will take action immediately to ask the regime in Hanoi:
Stop the media campaign against the Catholic clergy, their faithful, and the Church as a whole.
Stop persecutions of Catholic clergy and their faithful; also leave their religious items intact.
Respect its own law and return the property at the nunciature and the Redemptorist monastery in Thai Ha, Hanoi to its rightful owner.
The United States of America has a long tradition of being a beacon protector of religious and human rights throughout the world and a beacon whenever humanity is in harm way. We respectfully request that you do everything in your power to ensure that the Hanoi regime desists from all sorts of violent repression of the protestors, and earnestly participate in a settlement negotiation regarding the confiscated Church property that is at the root of the dispute. The Vietnamese government must respect its own laws and international laws that it had signed and pledged to obey. It must immediately take firm and concrete action to prevent further religious and human rights violations against followers of religious groups, recognizing their rights to practice their faiths free of harassment and oppression. For a far too long period, people of faith have suffered and persecuted under Hanoi's repressive and brutal rule.
Definitely, your actions and words count.
Please accept our sincere wish for good health and happiness to you, and your families.
Hồ Nam Trân Ph.D
104, chemin de l'Ormet
0041 21 6918502
Nghị Viện Âu Châu: Nhân Quyền trước hợp tác sau
Bộ Ngoại Giao Liên Bang Thụy-Sĩ trả lời về vấn đề Nhân quyền tại Việt Nam
Thế Giới Tự Do đã để ý đến vấn đề tự do Tôn Giáo và Nhân Quyền tại Việt Nam
* Quốc hội Châu Âu ra Quyết Nghị yêu sách Hà Nội tạo cơ chế cụ thể cho nhân quyền dân chủ