Catholic lawyer Le Quoc Quan sentenced to 30 months’ prison

The trial, accused to be a farce, lasted a couple of hours and ended with a prison sentence and heavy fine, despite protests and appeals by the defence.

Vietnam
Oct 03 2013, 5:58 PM
Catholic lawyer Le Quoc Quan sentenced to 30 months’ prison
The peaceful march through Hanoi demanding freedom to Quan.

A court in Hanoi on Wednesday sentenced Le Quoc Quan, Catholic activist and lawyer accused of tax evasion, to 30 months prison and fine of $ 56,000.

The trial, accused to be a farce, lasted a couple of hours and ended with a prison sentence and heavy fine, despite protests and appeals by the defence.

The authorities had promised a trial that would be open to the public; however, roads leading to the court were blocked by police and military who formed a human wall.

Jail inmates or former inmates too were hired by the local government to target dissenters. Public had been warned continuously for days not to organise demonstrations.

Yet, thousands of Catholics waved palm leaves in the capital's streets, in a symbolic gesture denoting Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Many Buddhists joined the peaceful march through the streets of Hanoi to demand freedom to Quan. Demonstrators also demanded freedom, respect for human rights and an end to persecution of believers of all religions. 

Earlier, leaders of the Vietnamese Catholic Church promoted prayer meetings and torchlight processions for the liberation of the Catholic lawyer and activist, whose trial is another example of continuing series of violations of human rights in the country.

Source: AsiaNews

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