Prayers for "Mother Mushroom", jailed Vietnamese Catholic blogger

Say a prayer for Vietnamese Catholic blogger Mary Magdalene Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (37) aka "Mother Mushroom" who was sentenced to ten years in prison on 29 June. She was charged under the Article 88 of the 1999 penal code for “spreading propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.” (See the full story at the Asian Catholic News Service UCA News.)

Among other causes, Mother Mushroom has campaigned against the killing of civilians by police, a Taiwan-owned steel plant Formosa Ha Tinh which has killed thousands of fish in Vietnam by releasing toxic wastewater, government land confiscations related to a Chinese-backed bauxite mine, the suffering of poor people waiting at hospital because they were unable to bribe officials,

Mother Mushroom received the Civil Rights Defender of the Year award in 2015 and the 2017 International Women of Courage Award.

Mother Mushroom arrested at her home in October 2016
Mary Magdalene Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh has already spent nine months in prison awaiting trial. During the first seven months, she was only allowed a diet of anchovies and spinach soup and, in a cruel and barbarous humiliation reminiscent of the reign of terror, was denied female sanitary products and underwear.

Mother Mushroom in court
In response to the sentence which has caused shock across the world, Catholic lawyer Le Cong Dinh said. "I did not realize what a state of panic the ruling party is in." He added, "It is certain that in her lifetime she will witness the death knell of the regime that sentenced her."

Let us pray that this is true. The treatment of Mother Mushroom, Mary Magdalene Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh brings shame to the good people and the beautiful country of Vietnam. They deserve better than a government that cannot bear criticism and has to survive by persecuting good and honest citizens who have won international admiration for their courage and humanity.

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