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Cablegate: Notes On Father Nguyen Van Ly From Official Vietnamese Media Sources

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


2001HOCHI00260 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTO6190

PAGE 01 HO CHI 00260 120151Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 INL-00
DINT-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EUR-00 FAAE-00
FBIE-00 UTED-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00
NSAE-00 OIC-02 OPIC-01 PRS-00 P-00 SP-00 SS-00
STR-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /007W
------------------D03DD7 120151Z /38
FM AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4723
INFO AMEMBASSY HANOI
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY ROME
AMCONSUL HONG KONG
USMISSION GENEVA
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
JICPAC HONOLULU HI
SECDEF WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
DEPTTREAS WASHDC
USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS HO CHI MINH CITY 000260

SIPDIS

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HO CHI 00260 120151Z
STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV AND EAP/PD/JMARTIN
STATE ALSO FOR DRL/IRF
STATE ALSO FOR INR/EAP/SEA AND INR/IL/B
CINCPAC FOR FPA
SECDEF FOR ISA/EA/LSTERN
DEPTTREAS FOR AJEWELL
NSC FOR GENE CHRISTY
USDOC FOR 4431/MAC/AP/OKSA/HPPHO
ROME PLEASE PASS VATICAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KIRF PINR VM HUMANR RELFREE
SUBJECT: NOTES ON FATHER NGUYEN VAN LY FROM OFFICIAL VIETNAMESE MEDIA SOURCES

1. SUMMARY: FATHER NGUYEN VAN LY SUBMITTED WRITTEN
TESTIMONY HIGHLY CRITICAL OF THE VIETNAMESE GOVERNMENT TO
THE COMMISSION FOR INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, WHICH
HELD HEARINGS IN WASHINGTON ON FEBRUARY 13. FATHER LY HAS
SINCE BEEN PLACED UNDER HOUSE ARREST AND HAS BEEN THE
TARGET OF EXTREMELY CHARGED ARTICLES IN THE VIETNAMESE
MEDIA. TWO ARTICLES, ONE IN NHAN DAN AND THE OTHER IN
TUOI TRE, BOTH DATED MARCH 8, INCLUDE BIOGRAPHICAL
INFORMATION AND OTHER INFORMATION ON HIS RECENT PROBLEMS
WITH THE GOVERNMENT, SOME OF WHICH WAS PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN
TO POST. FOLLOWING ARE NOTES EXTRACTED FROM THESE
ARTICLES THAT MAY BE USEFUL BACKGROUND FOR THOSE READERS
FOLLOWING THIS ISSUE. END SUMMARY.

2. NGUYEN VAN LY WAS BORN IN 1946 IN QUANG TRI PROVINCE.
HE GRADUATED FROM HUE GRAND SEMINARY IN 1974, AND LATER
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HO CHI 00260 120151Z
THAT YEAR BECAME A SECRETARY OF THE HUE ARCHBISHOP'S
OFFICE. IN SEPTEMBER 1977, HE WAS ARRESTED FOR
DISSEMINATING DOCUMENTS WITH ANTI-REVOLUTIONARY CONTENT.
HE WAS NOT PROSECUTED AT THAT TIME, HOWEVER, ALTHOUGH HE
WAS DISMISSED FROM THE ARCHBISHOP'S OFFICE AND TRANSFERRED
TO DOC SO PARISH IN HUE CITY. FATHER LY WAS ARRESTED
AGAIN AND SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IMPRISONMENT ON DECEMBER
9, 1983. (NOTE: THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLES SAY HE WAS
DISMISSED FROM DOC SO PARISH IN 1981 - THIS MAY BE THE
YEAR HE WAS ARRESTED.)

3. HAVING SERVED HIS TERM IN PRISON, FATHER LY RETURNED TO
THE HUE ARCHBISHOP'S OFFICE. ON NOVEMBER 24, 1994, HE
DISTRIBUTED A DOCUMENT CLAIMING GOVERNMENT REPRESSION OF
RELIGION. THE ARTICLES THEN SAY "THE PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE
OF THAU THIEN-HUE PROVINCE DECIDED TO FORCE HIM TO RESIDE
IN... PHUONG DUC PARISH, HUE CITY."

4. ON NOVEMBER 10, 2000, FATHER LY WAS AT THE CENTER OF A
CONFRONTATION REGARDING THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN IRRIGATION
WORK NEAR THE CHURCH. THE ARTICLES SAY, "WHEN THE LOCAL
ADMINISTRATION INVITED HIM TO ITS OFFICE TO RESOLVE THE
PROBLEM RELATING TO THE LOCAL SECURITY AND ORDER, HE TORE
UP THE INVITATION PAPER IN THE FACE OF THE LOCAL CADRE."

5. FOLLOWING THIS INCIDENT, FATHER LY WAS TRANSFERRED TO
AN TRUYEN PARISH IN PHU VANG DISTRICT, A COASTAL DISTRICT
OF THUA THIEN-HUE PROVINCE, JUST EAST OF HUE CITY. INSIDE
THE CHURCH COMPOUND, FATHER LY HUNG BANNERS WITH SLOGANS
SAYING "WE DEMAND FREEDOM" AND "FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR
DEATH."
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HO CHI 00260 120151Z

6. THE ARTICLES THEN GO ON TO REPORT INTERVIEWS OF PEOPLE
FROM THE DISTRICT WHO ARE QUOTED DENOUNCING FATHER LY AND
HIS ANTI-GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES.

COMMENT
-------
7. THE ABOVE PROVIDES SOME BACKGROUND INTO FATHER LY'S
ENCOUNTERS WITH THE GOVERNMENT WHICH HAVE LED UP TO HIS
RECENT HOUSE ARREST. THE ATTENTION BEING GIVEN TO THE
PRIEST AND THE VICIOUSNESS OF THE JOURNALISTIC ATTACKS ON
HIM DEMONSTRATE THE GVN'S HEIGHTENED SENSITIVITIES IN THE
DAYS LEADING UP TO THE PARTY CONGRESS AND THE DAYS
FOLLOWING THE TURBULENCE IN THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS.

RAY

NOTE: NOT PASSED TO ABOVE ADDRESSEE(S)

UNCLASSIFIED

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