Buddhist Monk And Famed Dissident Thich Quang Do Dies At Age 91

(HANOI, Vietnam) — Thich Quang Do, a Buddhist monk who became the public face of religious dissent in Vietnam while the Communist government kept him in prison or under house arrest for more than 20 years, has died at age 91. Do, who died Saturday in Ho Chi Minh City, was the highest leader of the banned Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, which has constantly tangled with the government over issues of religious freedom and human rights. He suffered for many years from diabetes, a heart condition and high blood pressure, said the International Buddhist Information Bureau in Paris, which speaks for the outlawed church and announced the death. Do was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and received several awards for his activism, including the Rafto Prize for Human Rights and the Hellman/Hammett award, which the New York-based group Human Rights Watch gives to writers for courage in the face of political persecution. “People are very afraid of the government … Only I dare to say what I want to say.

 

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