October 8, 2016
The Vietnamese government has officially declared Viet Tan, a California-based anti-Communist group, a terrorist organization, and warned that anyone involved would be considered accomplices to terrorism.
The Ministry of Public Security made the official designation in a statement, saying the Viet Tan, also known as the Vietnam Reform Party, has been carrying out terrorist activities.
The government has long been wary of Viet Tan’s presence and considered them a terrorist group before, labeling the group as “reactionary”, but this is the first time it has been officially given the designation.
The ministry, which is run by the police, accused Viet Tan of training its members in “militant activities”, reports Reuters, and has allegedly had operatives sneak into the country to incite violence and organize protests.
In a statement on their website published on Friday, Viet Tan said the ministry was merely “regurgitating baseless propaganda” and that the Hanoi regime was afraid of opposing voices to its system.
“To justify its human rights abuses, Hanoi has often portrayed critics as engaging in terrorism, subversion and social unrest,” the organization said, adding it is committed to non-violent struggle to end Communist rule.
The U.S. government has said it has seen no evidence that the group is engaged in terrorism. The group was formed in 1982 by a vice admiral in the former U.S.-backed South Vietnamese government, and has been described by the United Nations as a “peaceful organization advocating for democratic reform”.
Additional reporting by Associated Press
Source: Asian Correspondent