Violent Wave against Vietnamese Activists Continues amid Social Challenges

Mr. Nguyen Bac Truyen and his wife Kim Phuong were beaten by six plainclothes agents on Sept 19, 2016
Mr. Nguyen Bac Truyen and his wife Kim Phuong were beaten by six plainclothes agents on Sept 19, 2016

[themify_box style=”blue announcement rounded”]Vietnam’s communist government has continued its violent wave against local political dissidents, social activists and human rights defenders while the country is facing serious challenges in many fields.
In the past few days, many activists have been attacked and suppressed, with many severe injuries in their bodies, the victims said.[/themify_box]

By Defend the Defenders, September 21, 2016
Vietnam’s communist government has continued its violent wave against local political dissidents, social activists and human rights defenders while the country is facing serious challenges in many fields.
In the past few days, many activists have been attacked and suppressed, with many severe injuries in their bodies, the victims said.
On the evening of September 19, former prisoner of conscience and human rights defender Nguyen Bac Truyen and his wife, Mrs. Kim Phuong, were assaulted by a group of six men who beat the couple with their fists and motorcycle helmets. Passers-by who went to aid the couple were also reportedly beaten by the six assailants. Mr. Truyen, who was imprisoned for four years on charge of anti-state propaganda under Article 88 of the country’s Penal Code, said he believes the attack was related to his human rights activities and the assailants were sent by the local police.
On September 20, a number of activists in Hanoi were beaten by the local police when the People’s Court of Dong Da district held a trial against land rights activist Can Thi Theu, who was charged of causing public disorders under Article 245 of the Penal Code. Security forces detained around 50 activists and relatives of Mrs. Theu to a police station in Ha Dong district about 10 km away from the courtroom when they tried to attend the open trial. Mr. Trinh Ba Tu, the younger son of Mrs. Theu and bloggers Phung The Dung and Nam Phuong were brutally beaten by police officers in the police station.
Female teacher Tran Thi Thao from Hanoi said she was blocked and beaten by local policemen when she was on her way to attend the open trial against former prisoner of conscience Theu.
Meanwhile, police in Phu Ly city, Ha Nam province attacked human rights defender Tran Thuy Nga and kidnapped her four-year-old child when she tried to take a bus to go to Hanoi where she will take a flight to HCMC on family’s affairs. Nga, who is activist on labor and land issues, said a group of around 20 local policemen blocked her way, knocked down her on a street and beat her. They forced her to go back to her private residence in the city and returned her child an hour later.
Several months ago, the local police also attacked her with her two children with a dirty mess made of decaying fish sauce, causing serious injuries to her little boys.
In addition to arrests and imprisonments, Vietnam’s government has deployed police officers and plainclothes agents to attack local activists. Dozens of activists have been assaulted so far this year, and the victims included La Viet Dung, Nguyen Trung Truc, Mai Van Tam, To Oanh, Nguyen Van Thanh, and Truong Van Dung.
Many foreign governments and international human rights organizations have called on Vietnam to stop violent acts against local activists, launch thorough investigation to bring perpetrators to take responsibilities, and ensure safe environment for human rights defenders and political activists.
Meanwhile, Vietnam is facing a number of challenges, including systemic corruption, huge public debts, severe environmental pollution caused by unsustainable development, moral degradation and China’s threat in the East Sea (South China Sea). More and more people have disagreed with government’s policies in socio-economic development and expressed their dissatisfaction on social networks.
Vietnamese communists who have ruled the country for decades, vow to keep the country under an one-party regime. They have requested the security forces to suppress government critics to prevent the formation of opposition party and criminalize all activities which aim to enhance human rights and promote multi-party democracy.