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Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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Viet Catholic activist's mom dies after protest
Catholic News Service


BANGKOK — The mother of a prominent Catholic blogger died after setting herself on fire to protest her daughter’s detention for allegedly spreading anti-government propaganda, activists said.

Dang Thi Kim Lieng, 64, set herself aflame near a local government office building in the southern city of Bac Lieu.

“Her wounds were very serious and she died on the way to the hospital (in Ho Chi Minh City),” said Redemptorist Father Dinh Huu Thoai, a friend of the family.

Her daughter, Marie Ta Phong Tan, has been detained in jail since her arrest in September on charges of conducting propaganda against the state.

The 43-year-old Catholic former policewoman was one of three bloggers arrested in a government crackdown. Their trials were scheduled to begin this month.

The trio of bloggers belong to the outlawed Free Vietnamese Journalists’ Club. They are accused of posting hundreds of articles that “distort and opposed” Vietnam’s communist government.

Their work regularly appeared on Cong Ly va Su That (Justice and Truth), a blog that addressed social justice issues.

Lieng had not seen her daughter since her arrest.

Local church sources said she had been worried about her daughter’s upcoming trial.



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