Statement No. 4 of The Independent Journalists’ Association of Vietnam (IJAVN) againstthe government of Thai Binh Province’s act of repression against a delegation of civil society activists who visited the prisoner of conscience Tran Anh Kim

IJAVN-web-logoIJAVN | Jan 25, 2015

[themify_box style=”blue rounded” ]Right in the time of the Human Rights Dialogue between EU and Vietnam on Jan 21, 2015, thelocal police and authorities of Thai Binh Province exposed an ugly face through their act of repression against its own citizens, an act that was contrary to what leaders of the ruling elitesuch as President Truong Tan Sang and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung often proclaim before the international community that “Vietnam cares for and protects human rights”.[/themify_box]

On that very day, a group of 13 civil society activists visiting the prisoners of conscience Tran Anh Kim (who was just released from prison) was violently suppressed in an unusually intense manner. Included in the delegation were three journalists from the Independent Journalists’ Association of Vietnam, namely Nguyen Tuong Thuy, IJAVN Vice Chairman, journalist Nguyen Thanh Giang, and journalist JB Nguyen Huu Vinh, a Catholic.

All the members of the delegation were beaten and insulted, then detained without legal grounds for 6 hours at the police precinct of Tran Hung Dao, Thai Binh City, Thai Binh province.Many of them had their personal belongings taken away and the data in their video and audio recorders destroyed. In particular, journalist Nguyen Huu Vinh was brutally beaten and severelyinjured, forcing him to undergo long-term medical treatment.

Faced with this inhuman act of brutality, the Independent Journalists’ Association of Vietnamindignantly states:

1.That we vehemently oppose this gross violation of the law by the police of Tran Hung Daoprecinct, the police and city government of Thai Binh City, Thai Binh Province.

2. That the city government and police of Thai Binh City, Thai Binh province are solelyresponsible for all consequences of their terrorist act in Tran Hung Dao Ward on Jan 21, 2015.

3. That this act of terrorism by the police and city government of Thai Binh City, Thai Binh Province is extremely dangerous, which creates a bad precedent enforcement of civil rights andhuman rights, and badly smears the image of Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the international arena.

4.That, given the fact that Thai Binh is a locality within the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and notan independent country, we demand the police and local authorities of Thai Binh Province tocomply with the laws of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, to protect lives and property of theaforesaid members of IJAVN as well as all other citizens who engaged in lawful activities in the territory of Thai Binh Province.

This statement is sent to all international agencies and organizations on democracy and human rights.

Made in Saigon, January 26, 2015

On behalf of the Independent Journalists’ Association of Vietnam

President

Journalist Pham Chi Dung