Le Ngoc Thanh, CSsR, a Vietnamese Redemptorist is listed in the “100 information heroes” by the Reporters Without Borders for the forthcoming World Press Freedom Day (3 May). (See the link:http://fr.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/pdf_en_3mai.pdf). Reporters Without Borders is registered in France as a non-profit organization and has consultant status at the United Nations and UNESCO. (See: http://en.rsf.org/who-we-are-12-09-2012,32617.html)
Through their courageous work or activism, these “100 heroes” help to promote the freedom enshrined in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the freedom to “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” They put their ideals in the service of the common good. They serve as examples.
“World Press Freedom Day, which Reporters Without Borders helped to create, should be an occasion for paying tribute to the courage of the journalists and bloggers who constantly sacrifice their safety and sometimes their lives to their vocation,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire.
“These ‘information heroes’ are a source of inspiration to all men and men who aspire to freedom. Without their determination and the determination of all those like them, it would be simply impossible to extend the domain of freedom.
Anton le Ngoc Thanh works for Vietnam Redemporist News, a Catholic news organization for which he has worked since the 1990s, has caused him numerous problems with the Vietnamese authorities. In 2012 he was stopped for questioning on his way to Bac Lieu in the south of the country, where a woman had set fire to herself in protest against her daughter, the blogger Ta Phong Tan, being put on trial. He was held for several hours for causing a traffic accident while travelling on foot. He was arrested again last year during a demonstration in support of the blogger and activist Dinh Nhat Uy, convicted for organizing a campaign for the release of his jailed younger brother. Thanh is under constant police surveillance and is frequently prevented from covering and publicizing the human rights abuses that he has witnessed. (The blog by Ngoc Thanh: http://www.vrnews.org/)
The message from General Father to Fr. Joseph Dinh Huu Thoai, CSsR, Secretary provincial of Vietnam
Dear Fr. Joseph,
Thank you for bringing this article to my attention. I am very happy to see this news, and wish you to congratulate Father Le Ngoc Thanh, CSsR, for me personally. This is a very good news, and we are proud that a Redemptorist is honoured in this way. This is a testimony to the importance of social communication which is very much part of the mission and ministry of the Congregation and of the Province of Vietnam in particular.
May God bless you, the whole Province, and especially Fr. Le Ngoc Thanh as we celebrate on May 3rd all those who communicate the truth – and the message of the Gospel! He will be especially in my prayers.
The Lord calls us to “preach the Gospel ever anew” – and to use every means possible to communicate the message of copiosa redemptio. Congratulations, and blessings!
Your brother in the Redeemer,
Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.