Vietnam accused of widespread human rights abuses

January 25, 2011 08:54

HANOI, Vietnam — Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called on the United States to keep Vietnam on a list of the world's worst abusers of religious freedom, accusing it of continuously harassing some groups trying to worship peacefully.

The US-based group singled Vietnam out in a statement, a day after releasing its annual global report on human rights. It said the Communist government continues to crackdown on religious groups not recognized by Hanoi.

Several religious leaders, including pro-democracy dissident Catholic priest Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, continue to be detained by police. Hanoi maintains only lawbreakers are jailed.

Vietnam was added last year to the US government's list of countries of particular concern for denying religious freedom. Human Rights Watch wants the designation to be extended this year.

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