FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2020
In a shocking series of events, on January 9, Vietnamese authorities mobilised 3000 riot police to raid Hoanh Hamlet, Dong Tam Commune, and kill 84-year-old community leader Le Dinh Kinh. This ruthless and disproportionate use of violence before the Lunar New Year is yet another tactic Vietnamese authorities have used to suppress land rights demands by the people of Dong Tam. After deploying deadly weapons and grenades, the Ministry of Public Security have given vague explanations regarding the raid, as well as the deaths of Le Dinh Kinh and three policemen.
Viet Tan sends our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and remains concerned about the well-being of those still in police custody. We strongly condemn the deadly raid and demand that those responsible for the attack must be brought to justice. We denounce the Ministry of Public Security’s disinformation about Viet Tan and the residents of Dong Tam.
Vietnamese authorities have long conducted land grabs in rural areas such as Van Giang, Duong Noi, Thu Thiem, Con Dau, and most recently, Loc Hung. The Vietnamese authorities are relentless in these land seizures and justify the violent removal of villagers to protect the interests of state-owned groups and business ventures. The incident in Dong Tam is another example of the grave problem facing the country, wherein the economy is controlled and manipulated by “interest groups”.
We anticipate that the Ministry of Public Security will continue to launch campaigns and attacks targeted at those speaking up against the regime, employing the use of troll armies and “opinion shapers” to spread disinformation surrounding the 22 people arrested for “murder” and to cover up the events that occurred on January 9.
As the crackdown intensifies and the number of victims increase, we must continue to support the struggle in Dong Tam and call on the international community to demand a transparent and impartial investigation of the incident.
In solidarity, Viet Tan will work with those supporting the people of Dong Tam. We have formed the Dong Tam Support Fund to provide victims with legal and financial support. All information will remain protected and confidential. Emails can be sent to QuyHoTroDongTam@viettan.org or by contacting Viet Tan’s Facebook page.
Contact: Duy Hoang +1.202.596.7951