Vietnamese Monk Fears Ban on Re-entry After Award

September 28, 2006

Source: The Buddhist Channel

Wire Service: Reuters,3241,0,0,1,0

HANOI, Vietnam -- A Buddhist monk, who is confined by the Vietnamese government to his monastery, fears he would be prevented from returning to Vietnam if he travelled to Norway to receive a human rights award, his supporters said.

In a statement late on Wednesday, the Geneva-based Vietnam Committee on Human Rights said Thich Quang Do told them that "if he went to Norway, Vietnam may never let him return".

Its not even clear if Do, 77, would be allowed to travel to Norway to receive the award from the Thorolf Rafto Foundation for Human Rights, which has four times in the past anticipated the choice of the Nobel Peace prize winner with its own award.

The foundation last week chose Do for his "personal courage and perseverance through three decades of peaceful opposition against the Communist regime in Vietnam and as a symbol for the growing democracy movement".

In its statement, the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights urged the government to lift its ban on Do's group, the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), release him and let him go to Norway.

The award ceremony is on November 4 in Bergen, Norway. Four previous Rafto recipients went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize.