Land Grabbing in Hanoi Results in Violence


Defend the Defenders

April 16, 2017


Land grabbing in My Duc district, Hanoi has resulted in a violent clash between affected farmers and local authorities, with the arrest of numerous farmers by security forces and the detention of dozens of policemen by angry residents.


While Hanoiís authorities are deploying thousands of police, army, militia and thugs to the Mieu Mon village in a bid to suppress local farmers and rescue the police officers who are in hostage.


Activists nationwide have called on the two sides to settle the dispute peacefully to avoid any clash which may have severe consequences.


On April 13, two young activists, namely Tran Hoang Phuc and Huynh Thanh Phat, were kidnapped by plainclothes agents in Ba Don town, Quang Binh province, who robbed and brutally beat them before releasing them in a remote area of central Vietnam. The same treatment was meted out to pro-democracy activist Nguyen Trung Ton and his friend at the same place on February 27.


Instead of asking Formosa Steel Plant to provide additional compensation to people affected by the environmental disaster it caused and to clean the polluted areas in the central region, Vietnamís authorities have exercised reprisals against the victims for the peaceful protests they held. State media reported that police in Ky Anh district, Ha Tinh province had pressed charges in a criminal case in which hundreds of people blocked traffic on National Highway 1A. They will face charges of ďcausing public disorderĒ under Article 245 of the Penal Code.


Vietnamís legislative body the National Assembly will not discuss the draft law on Association in its coming session in May-June as the Parliamentís Judicial Affairs Committee decided that it is not ready for being introduced to legislators for debate and approval.


The Ministry of Public Security has put forward a draft decree which permits only police and army forces to use hidden equipment for filming and recording, while journalists and ordinary people can use ordinary equipment. The draft has given rise to concerns among journalists and local activists who say the ban is intended to prevent them from doing their job in a repressive environment that is characterized by restrictions on the media. 



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