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Vietnam 24 May 2007

Letter to his relatives from Father Nguyen Van Ly in K1 prison in Nam Ha

Reiterating its call for the release of Father Nguyen Van Ly, who has been imprisoned since 19 February for editing the dissident publication Tu do Ngôn luan (Free Speech), Reporters Without Borders today publishes extracts of a letter he sent to friends asking for clothes, medicine and books and confirming that the prison authorities have banned some of his friends from visiting him.

K1 Prison, Nam Ha, 5 May 2007

My Dear Friends,

May the resurrected Christ and the Virgin of Lavang always be with you! Please convey my respects and my best wishes to all those dear to me.

After the Têt Dinh Hoi, our sister X and her family visited me three times in Huê but they were not able to see me. I thank them very much.

I have been in this old camp since immediately after the court hearings of 30 March. I have now been hear more than a month and I have still not had any news of the family or parish. I do not know why. Therefore, tell sisters X and my nephews X... to come and see me and to bring me the following four items as soon as possible:

-  Warm clothes (woolen cap, woolen scarf, winter sock...), most of these things are still at the presbytery. I also need a blanket that is not too thick and warm clothes.
-  Necessary articles (glasses, dictionary with large letters, Vien Ngon Ngu hoc edition), which are at Bên Cui, as well as tonics.
-  There are still supplies at Bên Cui, there is no need to buy them, also ordinary medicines (...)

If the family is busy and cannot come, X should send them to me in a package. We have the right to receive a 5-kg package each month. The first time, send me the glasses, two dictionaries and the essential things. The subsequent times, you should add newspapers about legislation (...) My lung ailment has stabilised.

I embrace you all,

Father Thaddée Nguyen Van LY
K1 Nam Ha, Ba Sao
Kim Bang, Ha Nam province

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