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Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 02:17 GMT 03:17 UK
Catholic priests jailed in China
A US-based religious rights group says three Roman Catholic priests in China have been sentenced to three years in a labour camp, accused of violating the country's anti-cult laws.

The Cardinal Kung Foundation says the priests were sentenced in early July for what Chinese officials describe as acts that disturbed the peace of society.

A group spokesman Joseph Kung said two of the Roman Catholic priests were arrested while saying Mass on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday this year.

He said this proved that there was no religious freedom in China and made a mockery of its constitution.

All three priests are reportedly being detained at a camp 150km (90 miles) south of Beijing.

The Chinese Government, which only allows state-approved religion, forced Catholics to break with the Vatican in 1951.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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