A United Nations human rights agency says Vietnamese authorities are wrongfully holding the head of an outlawed Buddhist church who has been under house arrest for almost two years.
The UN Working Group of Arbitrary Detention says the detention of Thich Huyen Quang, as well as his deputy Thich Quang Do, is a breach of an international human rights treaty that Vietnam has ratified.
The group says the Vietnamese government should take the necessary steps to comply with the standards and principles in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Thich Huyen Quang, 87, is one of Vietnam’s most prominent dissidents and has made frequent appeals for religious freedom, human rights and democratic reforms.
He and Thich Quang Do, 76, have been under house arrest since October 2003, when they were accused of being in possession of state secrets.