July 25, 2015
Vietnamese Activists Hold Massive Hunger Strike to Demand for Human Rights Improvement, Many Brutally Beaten
By Vu Quoc Ngu | Jul 25, 2015
Hundreds of Vietnamese activists nationwide on July 25 are holding one-day hunger strike to request the communist government to improve human rights records and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, with many of them being brutally beaten by security forces, according to social network.
Activists in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Haiphong and many other cities and provinces started their fast on 8.00 am, gathering in public places in groups. They join the World Hunger Strike Day launched by We Are One campaign which aims to promote human rights situation in the communist nation.
In Hanoi, human rights campaigners planned to hold the hunger strike in Bach Thao Park. However, local authorities closed the park on Saturday, forcing activists to form many groups in different places to continue their fast activities.
One ten-member group in Ho Tay Lake was suppressed by numerous policemen as security agents came to request administrative check. Police tried to detain activists and confiscate their banners, however, they met strong protest from human rights advocates.
In Nha Trang, a number of activists, including Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (aka Me Nam), who was Human Rights Defender 2014 winner of the Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders, Nguyen Huy Tam, and Vo Truong Thien were detained to Loc Tho ward police station where policemen severely beat the hunger-striking activists. Ms. Quynh had bleeding in her face.
Nha Trang police also arrested blogger Pham Van Hai and keep him secretly.
Former political prisoner Pham Thanh Nghien from Haiphong informed that police have been blocking her private house since early Friday and throwing stones into the house.
In Saigon, the biggest economic hub in Vietnam, police have blocked numerous activists in their houses. However, many of them have succeeded to gather in Ky Dong Redemptory’s Church to hold the fast.
Due to police persecution, a number of activists have been forced to stay in their houses to hold the hunger strike.
Thousands of Vietnamese expats in many countries, including the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Scandinavian region have also conducted the fast to support their patriots in the home country.
In order to keep the country under one-party regime, the Vietnamese communist government has applied a number of controversial articles such as 79, 88, and 258 to criminalize government critics.
In the past few years, Hanoi has intensified its political crackdown, arresting and imprisoning hundreds of political dissidents, bloggers and human rights activists.
According to international human rights bodies, Vietnam is holding between 150 and 200 prisoners of conscience. Hanoi always denies, saying only law violators are imprisoned./.