Vietnam Human Rights Defenders’ Weekly November 30- December 06, 2015: Four Human Rights Activists Beaten by Nghe An Police ahead of International Human Rights Day 2015
Defenders’ Weekly | Dec 06, 2015
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On Sunday [December 6], plainclothes agents in Vietnam’s central province of Nghe An brutally attacked Hanoi-based human rights activists Nguyen Van Dai, Ly Quang Son, Vu Duc Minh and Le Manh Thang. The four democracy advocates visited Nghe An and attended the meeting with local activists to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2015.
All of the activists suffered severe injuries and need special treatment.
One day earlier, police forces in Hanoi, Thanh Hoa and Nghe An barred a number of local activists, including Mr. Dai from attending a meeting in Hanoi to mark International Human Rights Day 2015 co-organized by the unsanctioned Brotherhood of Democracy and the Vietnam Human Rights Center.
Police lieutenant Phung Van Phuong in the central city of Danang barbarically beat a 57-year-old woman during a crackdown against street sex workers. Phuong said he mistook the woman as prostitute.
And many other news
Wife of Prisoner of Conscience Cries for Prison Authorities’ Inhumane Treatment against Her Husband
Mrs. Bui Thi Diem Thuy, the wife of prisoner of conscience Nguyen Van Minh said authorities of the An Phuoc prison in the southern province of Binh Duong where her husband is imprisoned are treating him inhumanely.
As a follower of Hoa Hao Buddhism, Mr. Minh is vegetarian but authorities only provide him with food mixed with meat. Minh, who was imprisoned on the fabricated charge of causing public disorders, refused to take the food. As a result, his health condition is very poor now.
Mr. Thuy said local authorities have also intimidated her family after imprisoning her husband. They try preventing her to work to feed her step-mother and two children.
She calls on the public and international community to pay attention to her husband’s case.
In August last year, Minh was sentenced to 2.5 years in jail in an unfair trial which also sentenced land rights activist Bui Thi Minh Hang and religious activist Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh to three years and two years in prison respectively.
The trio was arrested on the way to visit former political prisoner Nguyen Bac Truyen.
Two Traders in Ky Anh Kidnapped and Illegally Detained by Local Police
In the morning of December 1, Nguyen Thi Ly and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thao, two traders in Cho Cu wet market in Ky Anh district in the central province of Ha Tinh, were illegally detained by the district police.
The detentions came three weeks after the two traders attended peaceful demonstrations of traders in Ky Anh district.
After kidnapping the traders, police informed their families that they detained the traders.
On November 10, over 500 traders of Cho Cu wet market in Ky Anh held a demonstration in the front of the local government building to protest for the demolition of the market. Ha Tinh province’s authorities sent police to disperse the gathering. Police violently beat many protesters, causing severe injuries to four traders.
Ly and Thao were the most active protestors.
Ky Anh demolished the old wet market to build new market which is not suitable for trading, according to local traders.
Vietnam Protests Inhuman Treatement of Fishermen
Vietnam strongly condemns inhuman behaviors, use of or threat to use force against its fishermen, said Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh in response to a question about a recent attack on a Vietnamese fishing boat in the vicinity of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratlys) islands.
After receiving information about an attack on a fishing boat from the central province of Quang Ngai coded QNg 95861 TS in the vicinity of Truong Sa, which killed a Vietnamese crew member, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it has closely coordinated with other Vietnamese functional agencies to direct the Vietnamese representative agencies in countries bordering the East Sea to promptly clarify issues related to that serious incident.
He also took this occasion to offer the deepest condolences to the bereaved family.
Hanoi Police Chief Confirmed as Chairman of People’s Committee
Major General Nguyen Duc Chung, head of the police forces in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi, has been elected as the chairman of the municipal executive body People’s Committee for the next five years, state media has reported.
Chung’s election was confirmed after the city’s legislative body People’s Council conducted a formal voting in its ongoing session on December 4, one month after the city’s police chief was elected as a deputy secretary of the communist party’s Committee in the city.
Chung, 48, was promoted to head the city’s police forces in September 2012 and major general one year later.
During his leadership in the past four years, the police forces in the capital city have intensified crackdown against local government critics and activists. A number of peaceful demonstrations against China’s violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea, environmental violations as well as human rights harassments have been violently suppressed.
Chung is among a number of senior police officers appointed to hold leading positions in communist committees and government agencies in provinces and central agencies. Last month, Tran Quoc To, former police major general and younger brother of Minister of Public Security General Tran Dai Quang was elected to head the party’s committee in the northern province of Thai Nguyen.
Police forces in the capital city have inhumanely treated land petitioners, and have imprisoned some of them for street demonstrations held to demand justice in land grabbing cases.
Last month, two lawyers were brutally attacked in Chuong My district in broad daylight and the assaulted recognized a local policeman among the attackers.
Hanoi’s police provided illogical explanation on the case of 17-year-old Do Dang Du, who died from severe injuries during police custody in a local detention facility.
Vietnam will hold general and local elections on May 22 next year to elect representatives for the country’s parliament and People’s Councils in provincial, district and communal levels.
The ruling communist party will hold its National Congress in early 2016 in which the party will form the new leadership for the next five years.
Haiphong Imprisons Two Activists Who Advise Drivers to Escape Traffic Police Traps
The People’s Court in Vietnam’s northern city of Haiphong on December 1 sentenced Nguyen Duc Hao, 21, and Hoang Anh Thu, 24 to six months in prison on the charge of “dissemination and illegal use of information on the Internet” under Article 226 of the country’s Penal Code.
According the court’s verdict, the duo had posted information on traffic police patrolling which helped local drivers to avoid police’s traps, on their social network named “Tranh chot canh sat giao thong Hai Phong- Avoiding traffic police patrol in Haiphong”.
While the authorities said Hao and Thu’s activities undermined the police forces, many Haiphong residents said they highly valued their information which helped them escape the traps of traffic police.
In Vietnam, traffic police are among most corrupted state agencies. They have often set up traps to extract bribes from drivers.
A number of Vietnamese have been imprisoned for online activities as the communist government criminalizes peaceful expression of government critics and human rights activists.
Reporters Without Borders has listed Vietnam and China among the biggest enemies of the Internet.
Vietnam Police Officer Beat Old Woman during Crackdown against Sex Workers
In the evening of November 27, a police officer in Vietnam’s central city of Danang used baton to beat a local 57-year-old woman during a crackdown against street sex workers, state media has reported.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Kha, the victim, said when she waited for a bus in a station in My An ward at 9.30 PM, police lieutenant Phung Van Phuong came and attacked her in her legs with baton.
When the woman collapsed on the street, the policeman and an accompanying militia left the scene in a police car.
After getting medical assistance, Ms. Kha went to the My An ward police to report the case.
The local police admitted the attack, saying the policeman assaulted her as he mistook her as a street sex worker.
The police officer who attacked her apologized to his victim and offered material compensation. The victim accepted to forgive him.
The attack against the old woman has triggered public anger across the nation. Pham Thi Thuy, a university lecturer said police have no right to beat citizens, especially women, even sex workers.
Ho Chi Minh City-based lawyer Ho Ngoc Diep said state officials are not allowed to beat or mistreat people. The attacker may not be criminally responsible for his act, but he must be administratively disciplined, he added.
The attack against Ms. Kha is one of numerous assaults of Vietnamese police against people across the nation. Many people have been beaten by police for minor faults and in a number of cases, the victims died or received severe injuries.
Two Schools in Nghe An Province Banned from Receiving Donations
Authorities in the central province of Nghe An have demanded two local schools, Pa Danh and My Ly in Ky Son district, not to receive donations from local young activists for local poor students.
The young activists said when their car with goods for students came to Muong Xen ward in Ky Son earlier this week, local authorities sent police and militia to blocked the car. Ky Son district authorities ordered the activists not to go to the two schools.
Activists also reported that when they returned home, local police came and asked them not to conduct any charity activities in future.
In the communist-ruled Vietnam, authorities require that all charity activities be monitored by the Vietnam Fatherland Front, a party-controlled mass organization.
Vietnam Authorities Apologize to Man after Wrongly Imprisoning Him for 18 Yrs
Authorities in Vietnam’s central province of Binh Thuan have apologized Huynh Van Nen, a local resident who was wrongly imprisoned for 18 years in a murder case.
At a meeting at headquarters of the Tan Minh Town’s People’s Committee on December 3, the province’s Police Department, People’s Court and People’s Procuracy made a public apology to the victim of miscarriage of justice.
“We want to apologize to Nen and his family. We know we can’t make up for what he has gone through. But we promise to make up for the mistakes,” said Tran Thi Kim Huong, deputy judge of the People’s Court at the meeting.
Representatives of Binh Thuan Province’s Police Department and the local People’s Procuracy also apologized to Nen.
Hundreds of Mr. Nen’s neighbors who attended the meeting and many other people said the 30-minute meeting was not good enough for the years he had spent in prison.
The victim said his lawyers were completing documents to demand compensation.
Huynh Van Nen, 53, was arrested on May 17, 1998 for accusation of killing Le Thi Bong. During the investigation, Nen was also charged with the murder of Duong Thi My five years earlier. The provincial court found him guilty in the two cases and sentenced to life imprisonment. Nine of his relatives were also imprisoned as they were charged for murdering My.
In 2000, Nen and his relative were proven innocent in My’s murder, however, he was still believed to be Bong’s killer while his relatives were freed.
In 2014, the Supreme People’s Procuracy were informed that Nguyen Tho could be the real killer of Bong. Many lawyers offered to help Nen to return to his family without charge. Nen was finally released on Oct. 22, following a decision by the local People’s Procuracy.
Nen is among numerous victims of miscarriage of justice in Vietnam where police torture is rampant and the legal system has yet to meet international standards. The People’s Procuracy and the People’s Court at all levels have often violated laws, especially the Criminal Procedure Code and other legal documents which should ensure fair trial.
State media has reported a number of cases of miscarriages of justice, in which the accused were freed after spending years in prison thanks to the voluntary confessions of people who committed the crimes.
Nguyen Thanh Chan from the northern province of Bac Giang was released last year after serving ten years in prison. Chan, who was wrongly sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case, received a compensation of VND7.2 billion ($322,000).
In October, two police officers Nguyen Hoang Quan and Trieu Tuan Hung in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang were imprisoned for torturing seven suspects in a murder case. The suspects said they were forced to make coerced confession after being brutally beaten by the two officers. They were proven innocent after the real murderers voluntarily came to the police to confess their crime.
Vietnam Police Block Many Activists from Attending Human Rights Day Meeting
Many Vietnamese activists have been barred by local security forces from attending a meeting in which is held in Hanoi on December 5 to mark the International Human Rights Day 2015 co-organized by the unsanctioned Brotherhood for Democracy and the unregistered Vietnam Human Rights Center.
Among the blocked activists are human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and former political prisoner Pham Van Troi from Hanoi, Pastor Nguyen Trung Ton from the central province of Thanh Hoa, former political prisoner Tran Duc Thach from the central province of Nghe An, and Nguyen Van Tuc from the northern province of Thai Binh.
Mr. Dai is the president of the Vietnam Human Rights Center while Mr. Troi is the chairman of the Brotherhood for Democracy, a pro-democracy organization. Both organizations are considered illegal by the government.
The activists said security agents have blocked their private houses since early Friday until the afternoon of Saturday when the meeting ended.
Mr. Tuc, also a former political prisoner, came to Hanoi on Friday but he was detained by security forces in the evening. He was deported to Thai Binh and held in police station until late Saturday.
Meanwhile, around 80 activists representing unsanctioned civil society organizations gathered in the Hanoi-based Thai Ha Redemptory Church to mark the International Human Rights Day 2015. Ms. Victoria Rhodin Sandstrom, political officer of the Swedish Embassy in Vietnam as well as human rights lawyers Ha Huy Son and Tran Thu Nam also attended the event.
Unfairly-tried Nguyen Mai Trung Tuan Appeals 4.5-year Sentence
Nguyen Mai Trung Tuan, 15, who was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison on the charge of causing injuries to on-duty state officials by the People’s Court in Thanh Hoa district, Long An province last week, has decided to appeal his sentence.
Nguyen Van Mieng, the lawyer of the boy, has filed Tuan’s appeal to the Long An province’s People’s Court. The appeal demands for his immediately release.
On November 24, the People’s Court in Thanh Hoa district sentenced Tuan to 54 months in prison for attacking police with acid when local authorities deployed police and militia to seize his family’s land in mid April. His parents and many relatives were also imprisoned for opposing police in the land grabbing case.
Victims of Miscarriage of Justice, Land Petitioners Hold Demonstration In Hanoi City’s Center
On December 3, numerous land petitioners and victims of miscarriage of justice hold a peaceful demonstration around Hoan Kiem Lake in central Hanoi to demand for justice.
The demonstrators hanged banners demanding suspension of executions of Nguyen Van Chuong, Le Van Manh and Ho Duy Hai, who were sentenced to death in unfair trials on charges of murder, and reinvestigation of the cases.
Hanoi police dispersed the gathering, violently forced protesters into a bus and took them to the police station in Ha Dong district, about 15 km from the city’s center.
Hundreds of land petitioners, who are living in streets in Hanoi, often conduct street protests to demand for fair compensations for their seized land. They have been inhumanely treated by local police.
Security Agents in Nghe An Attack Four Hanoi-based Activists
On afternoon of Sunday [December 6], just four days ahead of International Human Rights Day, security forces in Vietnam’s central province of Nghe An severely assaulted human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and three pro-democracy activists Vu Duc Minh, Ly Quang Son and Le Manh Thang who came from Hanoi to visit local activists and Catholic followers in Nghe An parish.
When the four activists traveled by a taxi, a group of about ten plainclothes agents stopped the taxi and beat the activists severely.
After beating the activists, the attackers robbed cell phones, wallets and other items of their victims and left the scene.
Informed about the assault, Nghe An province’s activists came and brought the victims to safe place.
Earlier in the day, the Hanoi-based activists attended a meeting with local activists and residents to mark International Human Rights Day [December 10].
Yesterday [December 5], Mr. Dai, together with former political prisoner Pham Van Troi and several other activists was barred from attending another meeting to mark International Human Day 2015 held in the Hanoi-based Thai Ha Redemptorist Church.
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