Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, February 16, 2007

Hanoi bars foreign rights activist

Viet Nam has refused to grant a visa to Arne Liljedahl Lynngaard, chairman of the human rights group, Rafto Foundation, AFP reported on Wednesday. The Rafto Foundation awarded its annual prize to Quang Do, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, and Lynngaard planned to travel to Viet Nam to present the award.

Do is the deputy leader of the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, but has been under house arrest for more than two decades. Under normal conditions, Do would have flown to Norway to accept his prize, however, fearing that the government would refuse his reentry, he choose to stay in Viet Nam. The Rafto Foundation’s annual award is given to those who promote democracy and freedom of expression. Four previous award-winners went on to win the Nobel Prize.

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