Court Weighs Conviction of Vietnamese Fish Farmer in Land Dispute

Reuters/Doan Tan/VNA/Handout Doan Van Vuon, center, stands with policemen on April 5. He is appealing his  conviction of attempted murder in a land dispute with the government.
Reuters/Doan Tan/VNA/Handout
Doan Van Vuon, center, stands with policemen on April 5. He is appealing his conviction of attempted murder in a land dispute with the government.

By Vu Trong Khanh and Nguyen Anh Thu
Wall Street JournalJuly 29, 2013, 6:02 PM

HANOI–An appeals court in Vietnam on Monday began weighing the conviction of a fish farmer who, along with several family members, was found guilty of planting mines and firing homemade guns at police trying to evict them from the land where they ran a shrimp business.

Such land disputes have been common in Vietnam over recent years, as the government has moved to force people off their land, often with low compensation, to build industrial parks and tourist spots.

Doan Van Vuon, a 50-year-old army veteran, is appealing his attempted murder conviction after a court in Haiphong City handed him a prison term of five years at a trial in April.

Five other members of his family received sentences ranging from probation to five years in prison at the trial.  Other family members are appealing against their sentences, seeking softer punishment. Mr. Vuon and two other family members have been in police custody since their arrests in January. Continue Reading…