VNTB - Beating activist unconscious, police waging vendetta

Kate Chesterson translation  (VNTB) Via his wife and our Facebook posting thereafter - not until 10 pm, March 14th, 2018 did everybody lea...

Kate Chesterson translation (VNTB) Via his wife and our Facebook posting thereafter - not until 10 pm, March 14th, 2018 did everybody learn about the incident that activist Truong Van Dung had been beaten unconscious. Unable to communicate with him verbally, Mrs. Hop, his wife, initially believed Dung had been knocked unconscious by “red thugs” on the street. When he was able to mumble a few words, however, it was clear that he had been cruelly hit at the very investigation agency of the Public Security Ministry at 3 Nguyen Gia Thieu, Hanoi.

Photo: Truong Dung in hospital
Knocked unconscious, he was not hospitalized, though. Instead, the police caught a taxi, took the victim to the alley near his home, and mercilessly threw Dung out after robbing him of nearly Vietnamese Dong 4 million. He deliberately managed to break his cellphone so that it would not be in the assailants’ hands. Not until 10:00 pm did a neighbor recognize Dung and took him home. Altogether, the incident lasted for 4 hours - not to mention the time he spent lying at the alley. Facebooker Huynh Ngoc Chenh remembers rushing to the investigation agency of the Public Security Ministry at 3 Nguyen Gia Thieu to inquire about Nguyen Thuy Hanh (Ms.), who had been taken into custody there after burning joss sticks in memory of the fallen on the Spratleys. He saw Truong Dung sitting there, expecting news about Ms.Hanh. Chenh came in first while Truong Dung was later arrested by plain-clothes people. In the interrogation room, Chenh was talking loudly with a really unmannerly security agent when he heard screams in the room next door. Dung was probably being beaten then.

Later, when nobody was around, Chenh opened the door and shouted toward the interrogation room nearby, but there was no reply.

A little while later, screams were heard again, Chenh stormed out of the room, calling Truong Dung, but the screams went quiet; Chenh was immediately grabbed back into the room and was locked in. Chenh’s recount indicates that the screams were heard distinctly initially, but later there was nothing but silence, meaning Truong Dung was very likely to be unconscious then.

Just as the news spread, civil society activists showed up, taking Dung to hospital. There were nasty purple bruises over his face, chest, belly, and a broken incisor.

Apart from attacks on the street, Truong Dung has been assailed many times actually; each was a painful experience. These are the ones that I know of:

- On June 2nd 2013 he demonstrated peacefully, was then arrested and taken into Loc Ha station. In here he was badly bloodied over the head. “They” later threw him to the ground right in front of the station; we had to take him to hospital.

- On April 2nd, 2013 on his way to the Doan Van Vuon’s court trial, he was taken into custody at Hai An police station, Hai Phong city. After beating him satisfyingly, they took him to Quan Toan, threw him there after robbing him of his cellphone.

- On October 25th, 2013 on arriving at Thuy Khe police station to demand personal belongings of land grab victims, he was beaten: three of his ribs were broken and his legs shackled.

- On January 21st, 2015 Truong Dung, together with eleven people paid a visit to Mr. Tran Anh Kim. All were detained and savagely hit, especially Truong Dung and JB Nguyen Huu Vinh , at Tran Hung Dao District police station.

- Most recent was the cruel beating of Truong Dung, Trinh Dinh Hoa, and Mai Phuong Thao at Minh Khai District police station, Phu Ly city, Ha Nam province during the Appeals Court of Ms. Tran Thi Nga on December 22nd, 2017.

Thus, this has at least been the 6th time Truong Dung was beaten in a police station. I can recount this as I was present at most of the times when he was severely knocked – not to mention those when he was assailed on the street.

Beating a pro-democracy activist unconscious and robbing him of his money and personal belongings is a flagrant violation of the laws. This time the act is different, however: they beat Truong Dung right after his attendance at the joss stick-burning ceremony held in Hanoi to commemorate the Vietnamese fallen on the Spratleys in 1988 as if to report an achievement to China’s Communist regime. Cruelties and inhuman treatment of Public Security personnel are now at a new high. How soon is Vietnam’s Public Security force going to stop waging a vendetta against the people? Public opinion – domestic and international - and human rights organizations must strongly condemn these violence acts.

Source: VNTB

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