Hanoi Rejects Bush´s Bid for Release of Priest

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HANOI, Vietnam, MAY 18, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The government has rejected a plea by U.S. President George W. Bush for the release of Father Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly, who was arrested Thursday by police who stormed a parish church.

“It is an internal affair and we do not admit foreign interference,” a spokesman of the Vietnamese government said, rejecting Bush´s request.

Father Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly, 54, is an outspoken proponent of religious freedom in his country. In February he urged the U.S. government not to ratify a trade agreement with Vietnam because of its grave violations of human rights.

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