On 1 April 2008, more than 300 police and authorities in the province of Quang Tri have besieged the pogoda of Phuoc Hue before they demolish the portal. They decreed the total blockade. The Venerable Tu Giao was controlled by land in the courtyard. The monks were locked in their dormitories at gunpoint. The police broke into the room to search the Venerable. They took 83,000,000 VND and 1,300 U.S. dollars which are the gifts of faithful Buddhists to the construction of the dock, the court and the statue of Kwan-Yin. „They terrorized the most novices to remove computers, telephones and addresses; they have snatched from the hands of the mother of the Venerable Tu Giao all the money used to feed the monks.
Case 2: The Venerable Thich Khong Tanh The Venerable Thich Khong Tanh is the Superior of the Department of Charitable and Social Affairs of the UBCV. On August 23, 2007, he traveled to Hanoi to try to refuel protestaire who are in need of food. But the police had prevented and arrested while distributing aid to Hanoi.
The Venerable Thich Khong Tanh is said that when starting to distribute the envelopes of money to protesters who were grouped in front of No. 110 Cau Giay Street, "local government for the citizens, police officers in many have rushed to the group. They stopped by the Venerable key judo, ripped envelopes and taken money from people like criminals. Two to three officers have their hands on the Venerable and broke his string worn around the neck and forcibly pushed into the police station which is opposite. After waiting about thirty minutes, a van came off the look. It is always flanked by 2 policemen.
He moved to No. 1 / 34 rue Au Co. He was taken to the 2nd floor where he was interrogated by three police officers whose names are Minh Trung and ??? The Venerable protested and asked the reason for his arrest is clear and that it shows the order of arrest. The Venerable said, "By Order of the Venerable Thich Quang Do, Rector of the Institute for the Propagation of the Dharma, I am here to help people in need after weeks and months of expectation that the authorities solve their problems. Our church does that make public a charity. We do not do anything against the law. Why should we stop? Why stop illegally? ".
After the interview cited above, General Nguyen Van Huong, Vice-Minister of Police broke into the room. For more than an hour, with rude words he uttered slanderous accusations against the Venerable Thich Quang Do, Rector of the Institute for the Propagation of the Dharma, and his spokesman, Mr. Vo Van Ai, against the 'EBUV having "subversive intensions in the pay of foreigners".
On August 24, 2008, the Venerable Thich Khong Tanh was referred to Saigon.
Case 3: Campaign to smear the Venerable Thich Quang Do in newspapers, on television and radio in August 2007 On August 24, 2007 until the end of the month, radio and newspaper Nhan Dan (The People), Quan Doi Nhan Dan (People's Army), Ha Noi Moi (New Hanoi), Cong An Nhan Dan (Police People), Thanh Nien (Youth), Lao Dong (Toil), Tuoi Tre (Youth), etc. ... issued a series of articles libelous character against the Venerable Thich Quang Do and the UBCV as "having received the money to purchase, encourage bad elements, the accomplices of the enemy forces abroad to organize ... demonstrations ".
The Venerable Thich Quang Do Arrested by the police. Photo: IBIB
Case 4: Campaign harassment of leaders of the UBCV In parallel with the campaign of slanderous accusation by the media of the Party and the State against the members of the EBUV whose victims were the Venerable Thich Quang Do, Thich Vien Dinh, Thich Khong Tanh, Thich Chon Tam, Thich Vien Hy Thich Dong Minh, the Vietnamese Communist authorities have even organized a demonstration in the streets of the province of Tien Giang slanderous to accuse the Venerable Thich Minh Nguyet, Thich Thong Hue and Thich Thien Minh. In Quang Tri, the Venerable Thich Tu Giao was repeatedly harassed.
On August 27, 2007, the Venerable Thich Chon Tam, Head of the Department of Education and two other UBCV monks, Thich Vien Dong Hy and Thich Minh were summoned to the police of the 7th district, Binh Thanh district in Saigon. They were interviewed by MM. Chan, officer of the Ministry of Interior, Colonel Nguyen Xuan, police cell P38 (Security Policy), Pham Minh Tuan, chief of police of the 7th district, and the two other officers of the district of Binh Thanh , MM. Minh and Tot. In turn, the police had tried to persuade the monks to give their agreement to the accusations of the authorities against the Venerable Thich Quang Do have proclaimed to the direction of an illegal organization which is EBUV, d having used the pétexte to help protesters to "encourage people to demonstrate against the State" and "sow public disorder". Venerable three refused to cooperate with police while seeking to provide the documents stating that the UBCV is illegal. The police remained silent.
On August 28, 2007, police in the town Thanh Nhon, An Nhon District, Binh Dinh province, called the Venerable Thich Vien Dinh, Vice-Rector of the Institute of Propagation of the Dharma. The position, the police has meant that the action that led EBUV to help protesters is only intended to "encourage people to demonstrate against the government" and is therefore expelled to Saigon. The Venerable replied that he came to the temple Thap Thap Vesak to organize and demand the authorities to provide reasons for his expulsion. He was told to referrer to the higher authorities. Around 9 o'clock in the same day, police came to the pagoda to order orally to Venerable Thich Vien Dinh to cloitre inside the pagoda.
Case 5: Reverence Thich Thien Minh Reverence Thich Thien Minh, birth name Huynh Van Ba was the representative of the UBCV in Bac Lieu Province. He was born in 1953, Bac Lieu Province, and reside at Vinh Binh Pagoda as a Buddhist dignitary. He was sentenced to more than 26 years (from 1979 to 2005) in prison.
After his release, Vinh Binh Pagoda, his place of residence was requisitioned and destroyed to build market and school by the provincial government. He already submitted many complaints at all levels from local to central government in Hanoi.
At first the government promised to review his case, but since he joined the UBCV, a wave of harassment, discriministration, suppression and threat starts. The Communist Government sets the condition of his leaving of the UBCV and joining the Vietnam Buddhist Church in exchange for the returning of his pagoda.
His followers collected enough money to build a meditation house for him in his brother home’s garden at 89/353 Cach Mang Street, Block 10, Group Bac Lieu City. But on March 15, 2007, the local government of Bac Lieu City demolished his meditation house under the leadership of Mr. Nguyen Minh Quan, – Deputy Police Chief of the City; Mr. Vo Minh Huong,- Deputy Chief of Municipal Management; Mr. Nguyen Kim Dong, - Police Chief of Group 1; Secretary, Chairman and Vice Chairman of Group 1 People’s Committee; Mobile Police equipped with batons, electric rods, guns, safety hats); Militia of the City, and Traffic Police, and dismissed the public gathering on the road leading to the house.
The Civil Protection Units of the City Groups, the Women Organizations; the PA 38, - Provincial Political Security; Physicians, Nurses, Ambulance, and over 30 stevedore groups with cutting and welding machines, hammers of all different kinds as well as reporters, camera men, local Bac Lieu TV station crew, and other branches of the local government up to 500 people surrounded his meditation house from the entrance of the road to the house.
Because of the constantly harassment and terrorist actions of the Bac Lieu City Police, the Reverence Thich Thien Minh has to be exiled, moving to Saigon and stayed with a nephew in Hoc Mon district.
Case 6: The Most Reverence Thich Nhat Ban and Reverence Thich Vien Giac The Most Reverence Thich Nhat Ban, the official representative of the UBCV in Dong Nai Province and Reverence Thich Vien Giac, Special Commissioner of Relief and Social Committee of Dong Nai Province have been followed, assaulted and kept inside their Pagoda by the local Police for many years. Police threw stones and removed the name plate of the Pagoda many times, as well as prohibited them from joining the UBCV.
At the end of Oct 2008, The Most Reverence Thich Nhat Ban was arrested by Dong Nai and Ba Ria City Polices when he was visiting another pagoda in the boundary of Ba Ria City. He was brought to the police station and assaulted, kicked and bunched at the face from noon to 5:00 PM. At this present time (Nov 13, 2008), his head, face and whole body were still covered by severely bruised wounds.
Case 7: Reverences Thich Tri Khai and Thich Nhu Tan a) On Apr 29, 2008, Representatives of Vietnam Buddhist Church of Don Duong collaborating with The Fatherland Front, Propaganda Committee, and the Governmental Religion Committee, District Party Committee, District Police and a number of youth gangs went to Giac Hai Pagoda of Reverence Thich Tri Hai while he was attending a funeral ceremony of a follower at the town of Thanh My. They used cutter to destroy 8 door locks from the entrance to the inner rooms. Then they occupied the pagoda and openly organized a meeting. In the middle of the meeting the Reverence Thich Tri Khai returned and founded the occupation of his pagoda right in the daylight. He protested against this act, but the invaders informed him that they organized the meeting here because this is the office of the Representatives of the Vietnam Buddhist Church.
It was known that the Leadership and Religious Task Force Committee of the Don Duong District Communist Party issued a “Secret Plan” numbered 44-KH/BCD to cope with the Reverence Thich Tri Khai’s intention to “exploit the Vietnam Buddhist Church for the benefit of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam.” This “Secret Plan” is to use governmental agencies, police and public and followers to kick the Reverence Thich Tri Khai out of the pagoda that he resides and owns. At the same time, they occupied the Giac Hai Pagoda to make the ceremony stage for the 2008 United Nations Vesak at Thanh My town, Don Duong District, Lam Dong Province.
The “Secret Plan” starting from the end of 2007 and lasted until April 2008, but could only collected 13 signatures of the followers for the petition of the Vietnam Buddhist Church to deport the Reverence Thich Tri Khai.
In the meantime, there was another petition from the people dated Mar. 19, 2008 with 239 signatures from the Giac Hai Pagoda followers to protect the Reverence Thich Tri Khai, and against the ambiguous slandering of the stated-sponsored Vietnam Buddhist Church.
b) Reverence Thich Nhu Tan, Chairman of the Lam Dong UBCV Representatives and the Most Reverence Thich Tam Man of Su Tu Hong Pagoda in Duc Trong District were informed of the breaking of door lock and the occupation of Giac Hai Pagoda by police, immediately moving to Giac Hai Pagoda to witness and providing assistance if needed.
Arriving at the scene, Rev. Thich Nhu Tan and the Most Rev. Thich Tam Man encountered Rev. Thich Chuc Hien, Deputy Chairman of the stated-sponsored Vietnam Buddhist Church and Rev. Thich Phuong Hoa. They questioned them about the situation, but Rev. Thich Phuong Hoa, a disciple of the Most Rev. Thich Phap Chieu, - chairman of the stated-sponsored Lam Dong Vietnam Buddhist Church replied that: “You resides in Duc Trong district, you have no right to intervene in Buddhist activity of Don Duong District”. Then, Rev. Thich Phuong Hoa called the district police to come to perform its duty. The district police came and handed the invitation to Rev. Thich Nhu Tan and the Most Rev. Thich Tam Man requesting them to go to the police station for investigation.
The two reverences Thich Nhu Tan and Thich Tam Man refused to cooperate with the police citing that they neither did any thing wrong nor violate any law, and stated that the invitation for their investigation must state a reason. The district police ordered a gang group (without uniform) to lift up Rev. Thich Nhu Tan, and the Most Rev. Thich Tam Man, dragging and shoving them into the police car and moved to the police station.
During the whole interrogation, the police did not provide any written documents, but they condemed the two UBCV’s dignitaries with three counts:
- “defamed” the Representative Committee of the Vietnam Buddhist Church (the state-sponsored Church).
- Created “public disorder” at Don Duong District.
- The UBCV is considered an “illegal” religious organization because it does not have the government’s approval, and its “political actions”.
After 3 hours of intense investigation, the police released the two reverences. The police’s parting-words bore an implication of threat and terrorism: “You are prohibited to enter the Don Duong District, and to come to Giac Hai Pagoda. If you dare to come here, we will KILL YOU”.
After this incident, the Venerable Thich Nhu Tan has received several invitations from the police. Each time, he refused to come to, but the police came to take him by car. Interrogation sessions usually lasted all day and consisted of criticisms against the UBCV, the obligation to supply details of the structure of the Church, its means of communication and relationship with the Office of Information International UBCV and slanderous accusations against the UBCV for political activities, incentives for youth and students to demonstrate against the government and so ...
Case 8: Denying religious activities of the Venerable Thich Tu Giao, pagoda Phuoc Hue, Quang Tri. On August 28, 2007, the Venerable Thich Tu Giao, Delegate of the main EBUV of Quang Tri Province was invited to celebrate Vu Lan (Amnistie souls of sinners) to Danang. But on the way he was intercepted at the district of Hai Lang by the police colonel, Le Cong Dung, and escorted to the military Phuoc Hue pagoda with record defenses out.
Case 9: the Public Prosecution EBUV to Tien Giang province On August 24, 2007, the authorities of the province of Tien Giang have held 3 meetings next three pagodas: Hong Lien pagoda of the Venerable Thich Minh Nguyet, Buu Khanh pagoda of the Venerable Thich Hue Thong and pagoda of Tan An Venerable Thich Minh Hue. It was attended by the population of the city, including the Buddhist faithful to listen to the accusations by government officials against members of the Committee of Representatives who have addhérés to EBUV which according to them is "illegal." They have held about infringing the honor and dignity of these people, and accused them of having assisted the complainants against the abuses of government.
After the scene of false accusation and public, government officials have encouraged people to expel their venerable pagoda.
The faithful Buddhists who responded by asking: "You accuse the venerable; why not invite them to respond pourqu'ils". Many were those who showed their agreement with this request and shouting their displeasure. Officers were overwhelmed by events and unable to complete their project.
Case 10: The EBUV Danang The police of the city of Danang has called Mr. Luu Nam (responsible for humanitarian and social affairs of the Directorate of Family Buddhists of the EBUV) and Ms. Nguyen Thi Chi (Deputy Head of the Committee of Representatives of the UBCV) for interrogation sessions 7 and 8 of October 2008. The examination was made by Mr. Le Tan Hung, investigator assigned to police Danang.
Mr. Le Tan Hung has made clear the reason for their meeting: "You are the EBUV which is an illegal and prohibited by the government. In addition this organization is against the current regime. If you continue to argue in this organization, you will be considered enfeindre the law and we will take action. "
5.5. The persecution against the Catholic Church 5.5.1 Overview Against the Catholic Church is a church with an international scope with the Vatican and head with a solid organization, the Party and the authorities have adopted a more sophisticated.
On the surface, they always want to show the image of a Vietnamese Catholic church enjoying religious freedom with the construction of many new churches, the free movement of priests and religious abroad etc ... This policy aims both to win the sympathy of the Vatican and Western countries, on the other hand to create among other faiths that jealousy may at any time degenerate into inter-religious strife.
In reality, the Party and the Communist authorities in Vietnam have searched every day a little more to intervene in the internal affairs of the Catholic Church:
- Communiser the church by forcing seminarians and novices in the monasteries to learn Marxism-Leninism, the history and legislation of VCP.
- Those selected to be candidates for novitiates, seminars, to the priesthood, the episcopate, the Cardinal, to the appointments or assignments to different positions in the church must have the prior approval of the State. Through these measures, the communist state of Vietnam is to put his men in seminaries, monasteries to become the latest religious leaders participating in the steering apparatus of the church. Until they become the characters of the clergy in the pay of the VCP, their presence in church allows the Party to have information to provide measures to handle the church.
- "Materialize" the church by promoting bad habits materialistic in the ranks of the clergy and religious.
- Allow construction of places of debauchery around churches, monasteries to disturb the religious and spiritual atmosphere.
5.5.2 Ten typical Cases of Violations Case 1: Parish Ke Sung, Thua Thien - Hue On March 1, 2005, officers of senior ranks of the town of Phu Dien, Phu Vang, Thua Thien-Hue have to seize the lands of the parish Ke Sung. They brought the members of Association of Women and Young Communist reinforcements. They savagely beat 11 women of the Association of Catholic Mothers. Ms. Thu Ha has been stripped of his clothes in public.
Case 2: The statue of the Virgin of Mercy (the Pietà) the parish of Dong Dinh
On January 27, 2007, the statue of the Pietà in Dong Dinh parish, the Archdiocese of Hanoi, was desecrated by Dinh Minh Uy, President of the People's Thuong Hoa commune. He used a hammer and a crowbar to break the figure, the head of the Virgin which is a party in tatters revealing the iron bars in the neck. The right arm of the Virgin has disappeared and there are only two small fingers glued to the shoulder of Jesus. His left arm which supports the feet of Jesus is severed at the shoulder. The head of Jesus is broken into crumbs. His legs are broken and you can see the roofs of iron on the inside. Dinh Minh Uy said "To destroy this statue, even if I lost my arm, I will break with the crowbar."
The statue of the Pietà desecrated by Dinh Minh Uy in the parish of Dong Dinh (Foto: www.chuacuuthe.com)
Case 3: Thai Ha parish, Hanoi
Since 1996, the Redemptorist priests and their parishioners have continued to claim, without any result from administrative and judicial authorities, that their land was confiscated by the communist government and then given to businesses. Towards the end of 2006, after learning that the authorities have allowed Chien Thang Textile Co, which was installed on the ground of the parish, to sell the land that belongs to parish to Phuoc Dien real estate Company, priests and parishioners filed new complaint with the government, and once again, did not receive any response. As a last hope, the priests and their parishioners have resorted to prayer, hoping that their peaceful actions may change the authorities’ decision. Thus night and day, dozens and then hundreds of parishioners came to pray on the confiscated plot of land that once belonged to the parish. The authorities mobilized secret police to come and discouraged them by using threats, insults, arrests ... The police resorted to physical violence or arrests those they thought were leading the parishioners in their praying activities. The National Education sent a circular to schools asking heads of schools to pick their students in prayer. Students who participated in these events must be submitted to sessions of self-criticism and was forced to promise not to pray at the church of Thai Ha.
Case 4: Hanoi Vatican Apostolic Nunciature
On 18 December 2007, the Catholics of Hanoi Diocese started prayer vigils for Justice and Peace, requested the Vietnamese Communist Regime to return the Vartican Apostolic Nunciature to Hanoi Archbishopric. This property belonged to the Hannoi Archbishopric, however it was forceably confisticated in 1959 and used for commercial purpose (such as tea lounges, dancing balls, restaurants, clubs, motobike and car parkings) which stirrred up the peaceful and respectful atmosphere of the Hanoi Archbishopric, Seminary and Sisters of Cross Lovers which have been barred by the government. Though for tens of years the Hanoi Archbishopric has claimed it be returned, but the government has kept silence.
On February 01, 2008 The Communist regime announced it would return the right of landusage to the Hanoi Archbishpric, to show “the openness and respectfulness to the Pontiff”; however the early morning Sep 19, 2008 the regime assigned hundreds of Police Security personnel with training dogs to surround the Archbishopric , Sisters of Cross Lovers and bar in all the entries . Other hundreds Pubic Security personnel, with hundreds of training dogs, used bulldozers to demolish the fence and other buildings which were built previously, (except with the main building) and convert it a park.
Case 5: Surround and threat the Hanoi Archbishopric After Sep 19, 2008, The Pubic Security personnel installed a network of monitoring equipment, including telephone equipment, tape recorders, cameras to control the activities within the Archbishopric of Hanoi. On the Hoang Kiem school roof, next to the rear of the Archbishopric, the government had two cameras installed in order to shadow and record all activities of the Archbishpric, particularly on meetings and telephone communications. Each camera was protected by five Public Security personnel on duty and was monitored 24/24 hour permanent
In short, all activities at the archdiocese were under surveillance from all directions at all time. According to some witnesses, all of these cameras were connected to an interpretive center located at 33 Nha Chung Street - Resource Center Party policy of Hoan Kiem District. Thus, one can imagine that nothing that happens or being said within the diocese can escape the security authorities.
In various angle of the Archbishpric was technically cameraed and shadowed.
From 19 September 2008, all mobile phones used in the Archbishpric and surrounding areas were dewaved.
Cameras installed to control activities within the Hanoi Archbishpric
On the evening of September 24, 2008, the Saigon Redemptorisis Church held a prayer to affiliate with the Hanoi Archbishopric and Thai Ha Parish, while the government’s Education Department had sent a notice to high schools and technical colleges in Saigon to request the principals of those schools to control their students and assigned officials to schools “to make decision on spot for relevant issues”.
The People’s Committee SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
Ho Chi Minh City Independence – Liberty – Happiness
Department of Education and Training
Ho Chi Minh City September 24, 2008
Re: Strengthen public activities to ensure the security, safety and social order
- Head of the District Education and Training offices
- The Principals of the High schools, technical colleges and the belongs
Take for granted of some perturbative Catholics at 178 Nguyen Luong Bang (Hanoi), some bad elements intended to incite and lure some youths, high school students and university students to illegally assemble. Aiming at ensuring the security situation and social order, the Education and Training Department to suggest the heads of schools to implement good measures as follows:
1/ Continue to implement good measures requested in the written documents No: 1902/GDĐT-VP, dated 08/09/2008 and No: 1945/GDĐT –VP, dated 11/09/2008, by the Department of Education and Training
2/ Forbid strictly schoolchildren and students who might assemble for demonstration or other illegal acts. If any incident occurs, the relevant Principal must solve problem or assign other authorised cadres to be on spot in order to coordinate with and solve the problem and/or inform the authorised officers of the Education and Training Department.
3/ Set up permanent teams, on duty, to coordinate as soon as the incident occurs (particularly the nights from 14/09 to the end of 28/02/2008).
The Education and Training Department recommends the heads of relevant branches to seriously implement this.
Distributions: For The Director
Party Commissioner, Board of Directors: Nguyen Van Ngai
The heads of the offices, branches