A Catholic priest in Vietnam imprisoned for advocating human rights has been “adopted” by Silsden Amnesty Group.

Father Nguyen Van Ly, who is 66, has spent a total of 15 years in prison at different times for his outspoken views on the need for greater democracy and religious freedom in his country.

His case will be the focus of a coffee morning being staged by the Amnesty group as part of its autumn and winter campaign on behalf of prisoners of conscience around the world.

Hand-crafted postcards calling for Father Ly’s release will be available for people to sign at the coffee morning, being held at Silsden Methodist Church next Saturday, September 15, from 9.30am.

There will also be displays and literature outlining the priest’s story, plus stalls.

Silsden Amnesty co-ordinator June Brennan said: “At a similar event last year – marking the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International – we signed postcards for imprisoned Burmese comedian Zarganar and he was released three weeks later! This gives some indication of how small actions by ordinary people can bring about great change.”

Silsden Amnesty Group, active for over two decades, came into being during the Beirut kidnappings of Terry Waite and John McCarthy.

Talks on Amnesty’s work have recently been given to the junior Shell Club at Silsden Methodist Church and to students at South Craven School, Cross Hills.