07/24/2018, 15.01
VIETNAM
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Hanoi jails 10 protesting against the 'selling of country'

Last month the National Assembly committed to deliberate on the creation of three important economic centers in Vân Đồn, Bắc Vân Phong and on the island of Phú Quốc. Opponents have given rise to numerous demonstrations. Never in the history of the Vietnamese communist regime were so many recorded, especially in the South.

 

Hanoi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Vietnamese authorities sentenced ten people to prison for participating in protests that broke out last month across the country against a draft bill on "special administrative-economic units".

The National Assembly had undertaken to deliberate on the creation of three important economic centers in Vân Đồn (Quảng Ninh province), Bắc Vân Phong (Khánh Hòa) and on the island of Phú Quốc (Kiên Giang). With substantial incentives and without particular restrictions, the territories would be sold to investors for 99 years. Many Vietnamese fear that the territories would be delivered to China.

Since last June 9, opponents have given rise to numerous protests. The protests continued the following day with greater intensity. Never in the history of the Vietnamese communist regime were so many recorded, especially in the South, where the crackdown of the government was greatest.

In the province of Binh Thuan, protests quickly escaped the control of the authorities. In some areas, demonstrators attacked riot police, burned patrol cars and stormed government buildings.

The Binh Thuan court  imposed prison sentences of between two and three and a half years on ten people who, during the one day  trial were accused of taking part in the violence. 

The defendants were found guilty of "massive attacks on police deployments; injuring some officers, damaging two government vehicles and causing traffic blocks for 15 hours on the national highway ".

Many other demonstrators have already been convicted of participating in the protests. Among them is the American student William Nguyen, convicted of "provoking public unrest" last week and deported from the country after more than a month in prison. His case aroused the ire of several US politicians who demanded his release.  HIs situation was also raised by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on a visit to Hanoi this month.

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