Thich Quang Do, a dissident Buddhist monk who has been under house arrest since 2003 and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times, died at the age of 93.
The vocal patriarch, leader of the banned Unified Buddist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), was born in the Thai Binh province in 1928 and has spent most of his life working for religious freedom and human rights in Communist-led Vietnam.
His determined activism put him under house arrest in Ho Chi Minh City in 2003, where he was constantly monitored.
Do died on Saturday evening in the Tu Hieu pagoda, UBCV said on Sunday morning.
After his will, signed in April 2019, Do asked for a "simple funeral, no longer than three days".
"After the cremation, my ashes are scattered at sea," says the statement, citing his will.
The UBCV also urged the followers not to bring any money, as is customary for Vietnamese funerals.
"There will be no last words, no biographies, no emotional performances … just pray."
Do has long been a thorn in the side of Communist-led Vietnam, and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times for its commitment to democracy.
In 2001 he wrote an "Appeal for Democracy" and also urged dissidents from the north and south to break down their cultural differences and unite in 2005.
The following year, he received the Norwegian Rafto Human Rights Award for "his personal courage and tenacity in three decades of peaceful opposition to the Communist regime in Vietnam".
The UBVC has been banned since the early 1980s when it refused to join the state-sanctioned Buddhist church in Vietnam.
Vietnam has had an uncomfortable relationship with organized religion for a long time.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended the State Department to label Vietnam a "country of special importance" and referred to "systematic, persistent, tremendous violations of religious freedom".
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)