Gov’t-backed Thugs Attack Hanoi Activists When They Celebrate 4th Anniversary of No-U Football Club

Activists mark 4th anniversary of No-U before being attacked by thugs
Activists mark 4th anniversary of No-U before being attacked by thugs

[themify_box style=”BLUE, ANNOUNCEMENT, ROUNDED” ]More than one hundreds of members of No-U FC and activists gathered in a restaurant in Dong Da district to mark the establishment of the soccer team of Vietnamese people who oppose the Chinese illegal U-shaped line in the East Sea.[/themify_box]

By Vu Quoc Ngu, October 30

Thugs backed by Hanoi police attacked Vietnamese activists in Hanoi on Friday evening when the latter celebrated the 4th anniversary of No-U football club, a soccer team of patriotic activists in the capital city.

More than one hundreds of members of No-U FC and activists gathered on October 30 in a restaurant in Dong Da district to mark the establishment of the soccer team made up of Vietnamese people who oppose China’s illegal U-shaped line in the East Sea.

Dozens of uniformed policemen and plainclothes agents stationed outside of the restaurant. Activists recognized some security agents who donned waiters’ uniform to serve food for them at the restaurant.

After about half an hour, police ordered the restaurant owner to cut off electricity, forcing celebrators to use candles and their cell phones to light the room.

Few minutes later, police ordered the restaurant owner, managers and most of the staff to leave the restaurant. Later, a group of four to five thugs entered the restaurant, went to the party and used helmet and whatever they found to attack activists.

They broke glasses, empty bottles and dishes and threw them at the activists, causing light injuries to blogger Le Dung and one girl before leaving.

They continued to shout loudly outside of the restaurant and threatened to attack again.

Policemen stayed outside of the restaurant to watch although some victims called for help. Blogger Le Dung dialed the number of the police in Nga Tu So ward to report the incident, however, he received no response.

The restaurant owner disappeared and police did not come, so activists left the place after paying the bill. No minute about the incident with losses caused by thugs was made.

Earlier in the same evening, blogger Doan Trang was detained by Hanoi police when she was on her way to the party. She was released at 9.15 PM after the party ended.

In the afternoon of October 30, Hanoi-based blogger Trinh Anh Tuan was beaten by a group of thugs who did not allow him to go out to participate in an environmental workshop in the city. Tuan, a local pro-democracy activist and environmentalist, recognized some security agents among the thugs.

Earlier this year, Tuan was brutally attacked by government-backed thugs.

No-U FC was established in 2011 after series of anti-China demonstrations in Hanoi to protest Beijing’s violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea. The team plays every Sunday’s afternoon and many patriotic activists come to support players.

Since being established four years ago, No-U FC has been continuously harassed by the Hanoi police which have requested football fields owners not to allow the team to rent playing fields. The team has to move from one place to another due to local police intervention.

The Hanoi police have also sent agents to monitor all meetings of No-U FC.

The communist government in Hanoi has intensified crackdown against local dissidents and human rights activists one week ahead of the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Vietnam, and the upcoming municipal communist party congress in the capital city.

Many members of No-U FC have joined other activists to sign a petition calling on Vietnam to cancel the visit of the Chinese leader set for November 5-6.

The communists in Hanoi will hold their congress tomorrow to select the local leadership for the next five years.

Vietnamese communists have ruled the country for decades. They have vowed to keep the country under a one-party regime, and have not tolerated criticisms and opposition.