[For immediate release]
January 16th, 2020
On the morning of January 9, 2020, at 4:00 am, an attack by Hanoi police and Government task forces, approximately 3,000 officers, was conducted on Dong Tam Village, where its Leader, Mr. Le Dinh Kinh, aged 84, was murdered and others severely injured, including women and children. A large number of villagers and land rights activists, that were defending themselves and their land, have also been arrested.
The Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has unfairly seized lands all across Vietnam, sometimes compensating the people “barely enough to buy a bowl of noodles” (article published today by BBC News Vietnamese- see link in Additional information). And in some instances, the people have not even been compensated.
Some of the numerous violent land disputes include not only Dong Tam Village attack, but also Loc Hung Garden incident, Van Giang farmland take over, Duong Noi forced evictions, amongst others.
It is extremely and utterly outrageous that the Government is purposely and unjustifiably attacking its own citizens, using excessive force and violence to take away their lands and denying them their land rights. I strongly condemn Vietnam’s Communist Government for its harsh and unfair attacks and gross violation of fundamental human rights towards its people, and encourage it to investigate in a manner that is impartial and transparent. I also add my voice to Phil Robertson’, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, in calling Vietnam’s Government to grant access on site to UN officials in order for them to report the facts, assess the situation and ensure the investigation is done properly.
The Vietnamese Communist Government should take full responsibility for these inhumane atrocities, the destruction of property and compensate the villagers accordingly.
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