Mrs Lieng is 3rd from left
The Buddhist mother of a jailed Catholic activist died on Monday after setting herself on fire in front of a government office in the southern city of Bac Lieu in protest at her daughter's detention.
Dang Thi Kim Lieng died on the way to the hospital in Ho Chi Minh City,” said Redemptorist Father Dinh Huu Thoai, a priest close to the family.
Her daughter, Marie Ta Phong Tan, 43, who being held at a jail in the city is one of three bloggers arrested last year. All are due to go on trial next week.
Lieng had not seen her daughter since her arrest last September. Local Church sources said she had been very worried about her daughter’s trial.
She too had been questioned and followed everywhere she went and her home was being watched by authorities 24 hours a day, the sources said.
Lieng’s death, the first reported self-immolation in Vietnam since the 1970s, came a day after the Vietnamese Redemptorist News network called for the release of 17 Christians, including Tan, some of whom have been held without trial since last July.
In a statement on Sunday, the network said most of the detained had contributed to its blog www.chuacuuthe.com. It claimed they were not arrested in accordance with due process under Vietnamese law or according to international conventions signed by Vietnam.
“Their ongoing detention in silence indicates a serious violation against the spirit of the call to construct a state of jurisdiction,” the statement said. It denied that the bloggers were spreading anti-government propaganda, saying they were “all righteous people.
“They were simply concerned for the fate of our country, attended courses on communications and blogged to bring justice and truth to people. They served the public through social and charitable work,” the VRN statement concluded. It was signed by Fr Anthony Le Ngoc Thanh, head of the network, and Fr Joseph Dinh Huu Thoai, head of the Vietnam Provincial Office.
Source: JB An Dang, UCAN, VRN