Vietnamese Activist Kidnapped, Tortured and Robbed by Plainclothes Agents



By Defend the Defenders

December 02, 2016


On December 02, Nguyen Cong Huan, a human rights activist and environmentalist in Vietnamís central province of Nghe An, was kidnapped, tortured and robbed by a group of local plainclothes agents when he went to a wedding party of his fellow in Vinh city.

Mr. Huan took a bus near his house in Hop Thanh commune, Yen Thanh district to go to the wedding party of former prisoner of conscience Nguyen Dinh Cuong in Vinh. He did not know that a group of local policemen in plainclothes were making a trap for him as they also took the bus.

When the bus nearly arrived in the city, the plainclothes agents violently took him out of the bus and started to beat him. Later, they took him in a car and drove to a remote area in the mountainous district of Thanh Chuong.

The attackers beat him everywhere on his body, causing numerous severe injuries, including in his right eye.

They took off his clothes and went away with his two cell phones and wallet which had VND1.4 million ($60).

Huan, a Catholic follower who has participated in many peaceful demonstrations on human rights and environmental issues, had to ask clothes from people near the area they left him. With support from a Catholic priest and followers in Thanh Chuong, he successfully came to the wedding party.

Mr. Huan said the assault may be a revenge for his activities which aim to protest over charges of Yen Thanh primary and secondary schools set by local authorities and. Huan has also spoken out to protect victims of the environmental catastrophe caused by the discharge of toxic waste of the Taiwanese Formosa steel plant in the neighbor province of Ha Tinh, and pro-democracy activists.

The attack against Huan was similar to the assault of the plainclothes agents in Nghe An against a group of nine pro-democracy activists on July 9, in which police kidnapped the members of the Brotherhood of Democracy when they travelled by motorbikes from the central province of Quang Binh to attend a wedding party of a fellow in Vinh. The kidnappers also took them to a remote area, beating them and robbing them before disappeared.

In addition to detaining and imprisoning local dissidents, social activists and human rights defenders, Vietnamís security forces have also suppressed, intimidated and used plainclothes agents to attack them, causing severe injuries for their victims.

Among victims of the plainclothes agents were La Viet Dung, Nguyen Chi Tuyen, Nguyen Tuan Anh, Nguyen Trung Truc, Mai Van Tam, Nguyen Cong Thu, Nguyen Van Thanh, Truong Van Dung and Phung The Dung.

Many international human rights, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have urged Vietnamís communist government to stop persecution against local dissidents, social activists and human rights defenders.

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