Monk gets asylum in Sweden

Sweden has granted a dissident monk from Vietnam asylum.
     The 50-year old Buddhist monk Thich Tri Luc, who is also known as Pham Van Tuong, left Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, bound for Jönköping in Sweden where he will settle with his wife and son.
     In 2002 he was sentenced to 20 months prison, accused of cooperation with foreign organisations that fight Vietnam.
     Thich is a member of a free Buddhist church independent of the state-sanctioned Buddhist organisations in Vietnam. He left prison March 2004.
     Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned Vietnam for literally forcing the monk into exile.
     Sweden grants Vietnam substantial foreign aid funds meant to develop the one party state’s democratic system and increase civil rights for Vietnam’s citizens.

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