Saturday, July 21, 2007
An eyewitness report coming out of The Socialist Republic of Vietnam claims that police in Ho Chi Minh City have detained about 200 political protesters and are being blamed for the deaths of over 100. Farmers were protesting against the government’s seizure of land and for “free expression.”
The protesters peacefully demonstrated outside of a government office on Wednesday, June 27 for the Vietnamese government to return property it has seized and occupied since late 1975, when the South Vietnamese government capitulated. Vietnamese living in the United States are holding memorial services on Sunday, July 22 in a number of cemeteries and memorials that focus on the Vietnam War.
“The crackdown on this demonstration shows Hanoi continues to curtail people’s rights. If Vietnam really has joined the community of nations, it should tolerate dissent, not crush it,” said deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, Sophie Richardson.
Thus far, the Vietnamese government has denied all allegations, stating that they did not detain any of the protesters, that no one was harmed, and that the protesters returned to their homes peacefully and of their own will. However, several Vietnamese in the country have been unable to contact family members who were part of the demonstration.
A Wikinewsie personally witnessed the police roundup of the demonstrators while on the way to a shop near the airport. He claims police began using nets to capture and drag the protesters away, before throwing them in the back of a Vietnamese military vehicle.