Police Detain And Beat Vietnamese Activist Over China Battle Memorial

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Dung Truong, who was beaten when he went to the police station to seek the release of another activist detained at a gathering in Hanoi to mark a deadly 1988 naval clash with China, March 14, 2018.
Dung Truong, who was beaten when he went to the police station to seek the release of another activist detained at a gathering in Hanoi to mark a deadly 1988 naval clash with China, March 14, 2018.
Photo courtesy of an RFA listener.

A Vietnamese activist lost two teeth in a beating by plainclothes policemen in Hanoi this week after he tried to win release of another activist who had been detained for attending an unauthorized commemoration of a deadly 1998 naval clash with China, his fellow activists told RFA’s Vietnamese service on Thursday.

Dung Truong was beaten when he went to the police station to seek the release of Nguyen Thuy Hanh, who was herself detained and questioned over her attendance at the ceremony in central Hanoi Wednesday to mark 30 years since a conflict with China over a disputed South China Sea reef killed 64 Vietnamese sailors, Hahn told RFA.

“They dragged Dung Truong into (the station) when he was sitting outside. They tried to take his iPhone but he broke it before they could grab it,” she said.

“They all dashed toward him, beat him very brutally right inside the station. He lost two teeth. After he fainted they called a taxi and took him home. They just threw him out of the taxi on the pavement near his house,” she said by telephone.

Blogger Nguyen Tuong Thuy wrote on his blog that Dung was found by neighbors lying on the pavement near his house at 10 p.m. Wednesday with several bruises on his face and body and was sent to hospital for a checkup.

RFA could not reach Dung or his family because his phone was broken.

Hanh, who was released after several hours of questioning, said police “asked if I raised money to hire lawyers for prisoners of conscience who are to stand trial in the future.”

“The second thing they asked me was about my call for ceremonies to mark January 19, February 17 and March 14,” she said, referring to dates associated with Vietnamese military conflicts with China.

On March 14, 1988, Vietnam sent two armed transport ships and a landing craft carrying around 100 People’s Army of Vietnam soldiers to Johnson South Reef, Collin Reef, and Lansdowne Reef in the contested Spratly Island chain with construction materials in a bid to secure its territorial claims.

Chinese frigates deployed members of the People’s Liberation Army to confront Vietnamese soldiers on Johnson South Reef in a bid to remove a Vietnamese flag planted there, sparking a skirmish between the forces on the ground.

The ships then exchanged fire and the heavily outgunned Vietnamese vessels were sunk, leaving 64 Vietnamese soldiers dead and 11 wounded. The Chinese forces, which suffered only one wounded casualty, arrested nine Vietnamese troops who were later freed.

On Tuesday, Vietnam’s one-party Communist government permitted relatives of soldiers and veterans of the naval clash to observe the 30th anniversary by visiting waters near the clash in the South China Sea and holding a prayer ceremony to honor the dead.

But Vietnamese police routinely break up unofficial protests marking the anniversaries of the takeovers of the Spratly and Paracel islands and detain demonstrators.

In Wednesday’s incident, a group of about 10 activists gathered to commemorate the Johnson Island skirmish in the center of Hanoi under close watch of plainclothes policemen and security officials.

There was a brief brawl between activists and a few others believed to be government supporters at the ceremony, but police did not interfere, activists told RFA.

Activists in Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam held a ceremony on Wednesday and encountered no police interference, they said.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Viet Ha. Written in English By Paul Eckert.

Comments (3)

Hate Communist with a passion

from ghet bac Ho

Oh! Talking about pour salt onto opened wounds! Are you communists so dumb that you can’t sort out sensibilities vs duties? It’s plain wrong to suppress and beat the people over these commemorations. Is it asking too much for you to think and for you to act properly?
Allow me to help, which is a greater evil? The good and kindly people that honoring these fallen heroes or the Chinese that killed VNmese soldiers?
Just like that song by Duy Quốc Nam, “Return these to the people” that has been singing all over VN and in every VNmese community around the world. Again, I’ll translate as it was written; literally; so not to interject my interpretation.
Return these to our people
Right to freedom, human rights
Right to observe, to listen, to speak
Right to choose ‘true’ freedom
Right to abolish a ‘totalitarian government’
Return these to our soldiers
Right to live as “a hero”
Right to be proud, self-respect for our race
Is to protect ‘the mountain and rivers’ of Viet Nam
Is to protect the kindly people of Viet Nam...

Mar 19, 2018 10:40 AM


from UK

Security police in Vietnam are notorious for being vicious thugs, they are a law unto themselves. This victim is still lucky in not losing his life. There are numerous cases when people were taken into police station for questioning and ended up dead through torture or maltreatment, they were declared deceased through medical condition or suicide and those cases were never investigated. The law in a commie regime is an ass, subjugated to the party.

Mar 19, 2018 09:27 AM


from UK

The commies in Hanoi owed a debt of gratitude toward China for material support during the war and they depend on China for the survival of the party. The moment commie China is dissolved, the Hanoi regime is history. The Viet commies will do anything to avoid antagonizing their patron China but to the Vietnamese people, they are traitors. They use to say that it's better to let China liberate the South China Sea islands from the "puppet regime in Saigon" than let the latter control them and they say that Chinese comrades will later hand over the islands to Hanoi. That's pipe dream since China's real intention is to seize the whole SCS on their way to conquer the world.
China's ultimate doal is to supplant the USA as the world No 1 superpower.

Mar 17, 2018 04:56 PM





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