Buddhist monks protest in Vietnam capital

ABC Asia Pacific TV / Radio Australia, July 7, 2006

Hanoi, Vietnam -- More than 50 Buddhist monks have staged a rare demonstration in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.

The participants told journalists they were protesting over the physical abuse of a group of people, including four monks, jailed for allegedly stealing religious artifacts.

They say one of the monks, a 70-year-old, died as a result of the beating.

The monks are said to have been members of the state-sponsored Buddhist Church of Vietnam.

Late last month, the court in nearby Bac Giang province ordered the temporary release of the seven people still in custody, citing a lack of evidence against them and ordering police to investigate further.