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Vietnam detains priest opposed to US trade pact
    Government authorities in Vietnam have detained an outspoken Catholic priest and branded him a traitor after he urged the US Congress not to ratify a historic bilateral trade pact because of human rights abuses.
    Sunday's official Quan Doi Nhan Dan (People's Army) newspaper said Nguyen Van Ly had been put under "administrative detention" in the central province of Thua Thien Hue.
    The newspaper carried a photograph of Ly and branded him a traitor.
    "For many years this man, disguised in clothes of a priest, has repeatedly carried out actions that violated the laws," it said.
    The official Communist Party newspaper Nhan Dan said Ly's comments were aimed at undermining the communist system.
    Ly, 54, has spent more than 10 years in jail or detention since the communist victory in the Vietnam war in 1975 for his criticisms of government religious policies.
   
Reuters
   
8-Mar-01


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