Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
March 15, 2010  
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

Boxer Statement on Release of Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly  

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today released the following statement regarding the release from prison of Vietnamese Catholic priest and human rights activist Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly:

“I welcome today’s news that the Government of Vietnam has released Father Ly from prison, where he had been held after a deeply flawed arrest, trial and conviction. While this is an important step, I remain gravely concerned about the continued plight of countless other human rights activists and their defenders who are still unjustly imprisoned in Vietnam.

“It is long past time for Vietnam to abide by its own constitution and international law and immediately release all those detained for their peaceful advocacy of religious and political freedoms.”

Last year, Senator Boxer spearheaded two letters in the Senate—to Vietnamese President Triet and the Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States, Le Cong Phung—urging the immediate release of Father Ly.

Father Ly was arrested on February 18, 2007, at his parish in Hue, Vietnam. Six weeks later, Father Ly was sentenced to eight years in prison and five years of house arrest for peacefully practicing his faith, expressing his political opinions and associating with others who shared those opinions.