Vietnam, official jailed over “family of heroes” eviction
The court of Tien Lang has sentenced Nguyen Van Khanh, vice-president of the district to 30 months in prison, for the destruction of property. It is one of the rare cases of an indictment of local authorities guilty of abuse. However, according to Van Vuon’s wife he is just a scapegoat and the real perpetrators have gone unpunished.

Hanoi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A Vietnamese court has sentenced a government official him to 30 months in prison for ordering the eviction of Peter Doan Van Vuon, leader of the " family of heroes", who became a national symbol of the fight against forced evictions following his arrest. At the same time, the courts have imposed a sentence (suspended) on four other people for their involvemnet in carrying out the orders of the  Tien Lang authorities - Hai Phong District, a port city in the north-east of Vietnam - against the Vuon family. The sentencing of government officials, although local, and most importantly for violating the rights of citizens, is a rare event in the country. However, the wife of the leader of the "family of heroes" is "dissatisfied" by the "mildness" of the charge says she will appeal it.

Peter Doan Van Vuon, a 50 year-old former soldier, is now a national icon in the struggle for the rights of the population, including land rights in Vietnam. He also received the support of the bishops, who launched a campaign to raise awareness about his case. In recent days, he was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of attempted murder. At the time of the eviction, he opened fire on officers called upon to enforce the authorities' orders, injuring seven people. His plea of legitimate defense went unheard.

Nguyen Van Khanh, vice-president of the district of Tien Lang was sentenced April 10.  He wiill have to serve 30 months in prison for destruction of property. However, according to some he is just the scapegoat, while the real culprits who orchestrated the operation are others who have managed to avoid prison sentences. Among them; Le Van Hien, former district president, and Hoan Pham Dang, former secretary of the party in the village of Vinh Quang. While condemning them to a few months in jail, the judges gave them a suspended sentence.

And it was Vuon's wife, Nguyen Thi Thuong, to highlight the sham nature of the trial and paltry and unfair convictions handed down to the real perpetrators of the assault on the family. The woman has promised to appeal. Frustrations were further exacerbated by the behavior of the authorities in the dock, arrogantly sure of a favorable outcome to their trial. Two of the defendants, "were laughing", eyewitnesses told, and stated without fear of "having bribed the authorities judging their case."

 

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