Two Vietnamese Activists Brutally Beaten by Nghe An Police after Attending Wedding Party



 

By Vu Quoc Ngu, Defend the Defenders

July 10, 2016
 

 Police forces in Vietnamís central province of Nghe An on July 9 allegedly assaulted two activists after they attended a wedding party of a local pro-democracy fighter.
 

After leaving the wedding party of Nguyen Hai, Nguyen Trung Truc and Mai Van Tam from the central coastal province of Quang Binh were kidnapped, beaten and robbed by plainclothes agents. Hai, Truc and Tam are member of the pro-democracy group Brotherhood of Democracy which was established by human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai who was arrested on December 16 last year.
 

The attackers detained the visiting activists, taking all their wallets, cell phones and documents and beating them. They took off their clothes and left them in a border area between Nghe An and the neighbor province Ha Tinh.
 

Two activists suffered from severe injuries and were taken by local Catholic parishioners to a hospital for urgent treatment.
 

Meanwhile, former prisoner of conscience Nguyen Viet Dung, founder and president of the unsanctioned Republican Party of Vietnam, was deported by police in Ho Chi Minh City to his home town of Nghe An. The city police detained him, beating him and later taking him to the Tan Son Nhat International Airport where they forced him to take a domestic flight to Vinh, where Dung was detained for hours by local police officers.
 

Last month, police in HCMC also detained Dung, beating and interrogating him before deporting him to Nghe An. In Nghe An, Dung was also held by local police officers who interrogated and tortured him, and released him several days later.
 

Vietnamís security forces have intensified their persecution against local political dissidents, social activists and human rights defenders amid increasing social dissatisfaction with the governmentís response to the environmental disaster in the central coastal region, worsening human rights situation and the governmentís weak response to Chinaís violations of the countryís sovereignty in the East Sea (South China Sea).

 

On July 7, police in the central coastal province of Quang Binh used tear gas to suppress a demonstration of around 2,000 Catholic followers in Con Se parish, injuring many people. Some protestors also fought back by throwing stones and bricks at the police. The demonstrators demanded the Taiwanese Formosa Plastic Group to remove its Hung Nghiep Formosa steel plant in the central province of Ha Tinh after it admitted discharging huge volume of toxic waste into Vietnamís sea water and caused the massive death of marine species in the 250-km coastline from Ha Tinh to Thua Thien-Hue.
 

Vietnamese activists and environmentalists have not agreed with the governmentís settlement of the environmental disaster caused by Formosa in the central coastal region, saying the $500 million compensation of Formosa is not enough for environment cleaning and supporting the affected people, including fishermen, salt farmers and tourism-related businesses in the region.

 

Recently, Vietnamís Minister of Public Security Senior Lieutenant General To Lam, who is also Politburo member of the ruling communist party, threatens to use tougher measures to prevent spontaneous demonstrations. However, Vietnamese activists in many localities have conducted peaceful demonstrations to demand permanent suspension of the Ha Tinh province-based Formosa steel plant and request the Taiwanese company to clean the marine environment in the central region and compensate for the affected people. 

 

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