ASIA/VIETNAM - A Vietnamese priest in the list of the top “100 information heroes”

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Hanoi (Agenzia Fides) - Anton Ngoc Thanh, a Vietnamese Redemptorist is listed in the “100 information heroes” by the Reporters Without Borders for the forthcoming World Press Freedom Day, 3 May. As Fides learns, the priest has been recognized and appreciated as a journalist and blogger for the courageous work that helps the promotion of freedom to "seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers", as enshrined in Article 19 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Anton Ngoc Thanh works for Vietnam Redemporist News, a Catholic news organization for which he has worked since the 1990s and this has caused him numerous problems with the Vietnamese authorities. In 2012 he was stopped for questioning on his way to Bac Lieu in the south of the Country, where a woman had set fire to herself in protest against her daughter, the "blogger" Ta Phong Tan. He was arrested again in 2013 during a demonstration in support of the "blogger" and activist Dinh Nhat Uy, convicted for organizing a campaign for the release of his jailed younger brother. The Redemptorist is under constant police surveillance and is frequently prevented from covering and publicizing the human rights abuses that he has witnessed.

"World Press Freedom Day, which Reporters Without Borders helped to create, should be an occasion for paying tribute to the courage of the journalists and bloggers who constantly sacrifice their safety and sometimes their lives to their vocation", said Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of the organization. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 08/05/2014)