Statement on Saigon People Repression by Communist Police State on Sunday 17 June, 2018

1 – Facts 1. On 17 June Sunday morning, nearly 200 people of all ages were inconsiderately and arbitrarily stopped and arrested on...

1 – Facts

1. On 17 June Sunday morning, nearly 200 people of all ages were inconsiderately and arbitrarily stopped and arrested on the streets, in parks, in coffee houses by an army of security forces including police, militiamen, city management units and thugs, most of whom were masked, plain-clothes personnel. The people were then aggressively shoved into vehicles and taken to Tao Dan park in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (commonly referred to as Saigon) just because they were suspected of being about to demonstrate in protest against the two draft laws concerning the three Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and Cyber-security.

2. There, in the park, swarms of policemen angrily went through their bags, confiscated their cell-phones, demanding credentials, iPhone passwords, cross-examined everything, especially those related to the information found in the phones, and created individual criminal record for each of the arrested with trumped-up charges of “gathering and making trouble” while in fact they were merely ordinary people taking a walk on Sunday.


3. Regarding the acts illogical and illegal, many did not co-operate, refusing to answer questions and disobey orders. They were immediately sworn at, slapped, and ruthlessly beaten. Some got swollen cheeks, broken teeth; others even knocked unconscious with cerebral injuries and had to be hospitalized…. Those who spoke up to protect the victims were insulted and were called by humiliating terms even though they were at the age of the thug-policemen’s parents. Most were physically assailed.

4. In particular, on questioning the detainees about the two draft laws regarding the three Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and Cyber-security, the police kept lecturing that “Have you known anything yet ? Why demonstrate?” The detainee would be angrily shouted at and labeled as an element that thought wrongly, misunderstood State policies and was an anti-revolutionary on answering the question using his/her rationale. All of them were taken into custody until late evening before being escorted back to their home district.

2 - Appraisal of situation and declaration

We, organizations and individuals who sign hereafter, unanimously appraise the situation and declare:

1. Law enforcement personnel acted extremely arbitrarily and illegally as they suspected ordinary citizens randomly, aggressively arrested people, and forced everybody into one location. The police and auxiliary forces had no right to do what they did in case the people demonstrated but made no trouble.

2. The attitude of addressing people impertinently and readily using batons, slaps, punches to physically handle those considered to be stubborn and refused to cooperate indicated a mentality of a Communist regime that regarded their people as animals or even as enemies.

3. The barbarous, illegal acts of such subordinates could only come from orders, habits of conniving bad actions or the mentality of their superiors whose policy is to repress all demonstrations right from the start.

4. With so many witnesses and materials in connection with the ferocious crackdown on Sunday 17 June, 2018, we call on all those arrested and beaten to unanimously sue Vietnam Communist Party’s security forces at domestic and international courts.

5. The Vietnamese people are entitled to peaceful demonstrations as stipulated in the Constitution. For many years, however, the Communist State and its National Assembly have deliberately delayed adoption of the Demonstration Law to facilitate acts of suppression. In spite of this, it remains both a right and a responsibility that the people have to express their authentic aspirations as the bosses of the country.

6. Currently, it’s necessary to facilitate such demonstrations to create a sound political atmosphere and democracy where the people can express their patriotism, and the authorities have an opportunity to realize threats from the two draft laws concerning the three Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and Cyber-security. The State has no right to prevent demonstrations and destroy them cunningly.

Vietnam, 26 June, 2018. (International Day in Support of Victims of Torture)

Translated by Kate Chesterson 
Source: VNTB

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