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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 09/05/2013, 00.00


    Nghe An: police cracks down hard on Catholics protest

    At least 300 people were protesting against the detention of two Catholics who have been in jail since June without charges. A thousand police agents were involved, firing in the air and hitting protesters with electric batons. Many of the most seriously injured were transferred to Hanoi. Dozens of protesters are arrested.

    Hanoi (AsiaNews) - Vietnamese police attacked hundreds of Catholics protesting in front of their church, using live ammunition and throwing grenades. Protesters were demanding the release of two parishioners arrested in June and held without charges.

    According to eyewitness accounts, the incident, which took place yesterday in My Yen Parish, Nghe An province (north-central coastal region), was one of the most violent and bloody acts of repression carried out by the authorities in recent years.

    An unknown number of people ended up in hospital for medical treatment with some patients in serious condition transferred urgently to Hanoi.

    Police used batons and fired into the air to disperse the crowd, arresting an unspecified number of demonstrators.

    State-controlled TV reported that about 300 people went to the Nghi Phuong village People's Committee building in Nghi Loc district early Wednesday morning, saying they would not budge until My Yen parishioners Ngo Van Khoi and Nguyen Van Hai were freed after their unwarranted detention.

    A day earlier, about 1,000 people, some of them carrying large banners, had campaigned for the pair's release.

    Tensions were high also because for two days, the authorities had announced the release of the two men without actually doing so.

    "They [police] fired 15 [gun] shots in front of the My Yen church. They beat some parishioners with electric batons," an eyewitness told Radio Free Asia (RFA).

    A website linked to the Vietnamese Redemptorist Church posted pictures of dozens of people receiving treatment for serious injuries to the head, hand, stomach, and neck.

    Online reports said up to 3,000 police officers and soldiers may have been mobilised in the crackdown. According to some eyewitnesses, police tried to stop people from getting treatment.

    Ngo Van Khoi and Nguyen Van Hai were detained last June by men belonging to security agencies. They have been held without a formal indictment since then.

    Their families have reported that they are in prison for "disturbing public order", but no specific incident was mentioned that would justify their detention.

    In Vietnam, the authorities continue their repression against bloggers, activists and dissidents seeking religious freedom, respect for civil rights, and the end of one-party hegemony, which is now the object of a petition.

    In 2013 alone, Hanoi arrested more than 40 activists for crimes "against the state", a charge useful for repression but too "generic" and "vague" for human rights groups.

    The Catholic Church has also been forced to submit to limits and restrictions, its members victims of persecution.

    In January, a local court sentenced 14 people, including Catholics, to prison on charges of attempting to overthrow the government, a decision criticised forcefully by activists and human rights groups.

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    See also

    10/09/2008 VIETNAM
    Bishop of Thai Binh, violence of Hanoi authorities will be condemned by the world
    The prelate is responding to the threats from public security officials against the peaceful demonstrators asking for the restitution of property belonging to the parish of Thai Ha. New manifestations of solidarity from the bishops.

    12/05/2010 THAILAND
    In Bangkok, government to cut supplies to red-shirts who vow to fight on
    The authorities are set to cut off water, electricity and phone services in the business district. Protest leaders say, they will “continue to fight”. Army spokesman says residents in the affected area should leave. Former Communist leader says red-shirts are using Maoist guerrilla tactics.

    12/09/2008 VIETNAM
    Facing possible arrest, bishop of Thai Binh says goodbye to faithful
    The prelate says he is guilty of the same "sins" that the police have used to charge the first arrestees. Seven members of the faithful have been jailed, according to the pastor of the parish of Thai Ha. But the prayer vigils continue, and bishops continue to arrive in a demonstration of "communion".

    08/04/2016 18:52:00 VIETNAM
    Police attack Catholic church in Quang Binh, three parishioners injured

    The incident occurred on 6 April. The pastor said police and soldiers fired shots near the church and used tear gas and batons against parishioners, before they tore down decorations from the site.

    30/06/2014 VIETNAM
    Saigon: Redemptorists praying for the release of Catholic activist Jang Xuan Dieu
    Jailed for crimes of opinion, he maintained his innocence during the trial and is now on a hunger strike. Prison officials have prevented his relatives from seeing him. Meanwhile, his health is deteriorating. Priests express their solidarity and concern for the affair, shaken by the real pain endured by the family, sharing in their suffering.

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