Vietnam Authorities Continue Violent Wave against Local Activists
Defend the Defenders
October 29, 2016
Vietnam has continued its wave of violence against local activists as authorities in many localities have deployed thugs and plainclothes agents to assault political dissidents, social activists and human rights.
On October 26, a charity group consisting of members of the unsanctioned Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam (IJAVN) and the Brotherhood of Democracy travelled in a car from the flood-affected areas in the central province of Quang Binh to Hanoi. When arriving near Ben Thuy Bridge which separates the two central provinces of Ha Tinh and Nghe An, the group was attacked with stones by thugs who travelled on three motorbikes without registration numbers.
Due to the assault, the car of blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh suffered huge damages with broken glasses and mirrors.
The activists were returning from Quang Binh where they provided some foodstuff for local people in areas flooded after local hydropower plants suddenly released water.
On the same day, anti-China activist Ngoc Anh from Cau Giay district, Hanoi was attacked by plainclothes agents. Due to the assault, Mr. Anh suffered from a number of injuries on his head.
Authorities in the central province of Thanh Hoa have been constantly harassing the family of Nguyen Trung Ton, a former prisoner of conscience and member of Brotherhood of Democracy. In addition to making public denunciations in local media, on the radio and on neighborhood loudspeakers, plainclothes agents have also troubled the businesses of his wife in a local wet market. Sometime they came and destroyed her booth of seafood products.
On October 28, when the Hanoi-based No-U Football Club (say No to China’s U-shaped line claim in the East Sea or South China Sea) organized a party to mark its 5th anniversary, local police blocked many activists from attending the event, and cut off electricity in Thai Ha Redemptory’s Church where the party was held.
Vietnamese communists have ruled the country for decades and strive not to allow the formation of opposition parties. In addition to using controversial articles such as 79, 88, 245 and 258 of the Penal Code to silence political dissidents, social activists and human rights defenders, Vietnam’s government has hired thugs or sent plainclothes agents to assault others to discourage activists from political advocacy.
Hundreds of Vietnamese activists have been brutally beaten by thugs and plainclothes agents so far this year.