Hundreds of Vietnamese Protestors Arrested, Beaten During Nationwide Demonstrations, Crackdown Continues

Protestors in Phan Ri after being detained by security forces on June 12 (Picture taken from Facebooker Thao Teresa)

Defend the Defenders, June 13, 2018


Hundreds of Vietnamese protestors have been arrested and beaten by security forces and the numbers are likely torise as local authorities continue their crackdown, according to the state media and citizen journalists.

State media has reported that security forces havearrested around 200 protestors in the central province of Binh Thuan, where the peaceful demonstrations turned into violent after the local security forces used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowds.

There are many other facilities holding the protestors arrested in recent days, other activists said.

Activist Nguyen Dang Vu(Facebooker Nguyen Peng) is likely one of the latest victims of the government’s crackdown on peaceful demonstrations protesting the two bills on Special Economic Zones and Cyber Security, the first was postponed while the second was approved by the Vietnamese rubber-stamp parliament on June 12. On the afternoon of Tuesday, he went on Hoang Van Thu street in HCM City for taking pictures and later informed his fellows that he was caught by police. Being released on the late afternoon of June 13, the activists said there are many protestors held in different facilities in the city.

The fates of many protestors remainunknown for their families. Some were released, others deported to their localities, while hundreds otherswere held somewhere in the city.

The released protestors reported that in custody, police had brutally beaten detainees and confiscated their cellphones and other belongings during interrogation.

Witnesses said authorities in HCM City, Hanoi, Danang and Nha Trang  sent armed police to block demonstrations and used plainclothes to detain protestors. Many videoclips proved their claims.

Video clips showed that the police in HCM City used Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) to suppress peaceful demonstrations on Sunday. The devices were from the USfor equiping patrol ships of the Vietnam Coast Guard.

On Sunday, police in Hanoi also dispersed peaceful demonstrations in the city’s center. Police detained protestors, holding them in police stations and releasing them in late afternoon. Police brutally beat Mrs. Nguyen Thuy Hanh ata cafeteria in Dong Da district,. She was released at the mid night of Sunday, with deformed face and injuries onher head and body. She said a police officer from Dong Da district police beat her with his fists in a taxi car from the cafeteria to the Trung Tu ward police station and in the station where they held her and seven other activists.

Authorities in Hanoi sent plainclothes agents and militia to private residences of local activists at noon of June 12, after the parliament approved the bill on Cyber Security, in a bid to prevent them from gathering to protest. Some activists said they are still placed de facto under house or being closely followed by under-covered police on Wednesday.


A protester in Phan Ri beaten by police during crackdown