Skip links

Police ‘deliberately targeting’ Vietnamese Catholic activists

A worker polishes a statue of Regina Pacis (Queen of Peace) in front of Hanoi's cathedral  on January 19, 2015. Archbishop of Hanoi, Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon, was among 20 new cardinals named by Pope Francis early this month. AFP PHOTO / HOANG DINH NAM
A worker polishes a statue of Regina Pacis (Queen of Peace) in front of Hanoi’s cathedral on January 19, 2015. Archbishop of Hanoi, Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon, was among 20 new cardinals named by Pope Francis early this month. AFP PHOTO / HOANG DINH NAM

Rights groups in Vietnam have accused police of “deliberately targeting” two Catholic activists, with officers allegedly attacking one of them twice in less than two weeks.

Vu Quoc Ngu of local rights group Defend the Defenders told ucanews.com that Tran Minh Nhat was attacked on Nov. 17 “when he went for a medical checkup” after suffering injuries following a similar attack just nine days earlier.

The group said in a statement that plainclothes security officers assaulted Nhat as he made his way to a clinic near his home in Lam Dong province in the Central Highlands.

The attack is the second in less than two weeks, raising alarm among rights monitors.

Nhat and another Catholic activist, Chu Manh Son, were assaulted after being stopped by police in the Central Highlands on Nov. 8. The pair were held for 12 hours, and, at one point, brought before a group of local communist party officials who “tried to force [Nhat] to write a letter admitting to his wrongdoings,” according to a statement by another rights group, Front Line Defenders.

Defend the Defenders said that police “barbarically beat” Nhat, while Radio Free Asia and Front Line Defenders reported that Son was beaten as well.

Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, called the attacks “part of a daily cycle of the systematic and pervasive rights abuse occurring across Vietnam.”

“The police’s blatant physical attacks and ongoing intimidation of these two dissidents show the Vietnam government’s complete disregard for human rights or the rule of law,” he said. “All across Vietnam, dissidents are being targeted this way — the only difference is whether the incidents become public or are hushed up.”

Read more at UCANews.com…

Share with Friends:

Leave a comment