FVPoC | 31/03/2014
Translation by (Defend The Defenders)
Vietnam should revoke all projects which involve land seizure and cause environment pollution. The communist government must immediately release all detained residents in the two localities. All state officials and police officers which violated law should be punished strictly.
The Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience, a non-government non-profit organigation which voices to protect supressed people, once expresses its deep concerns over the illegal detention of six residents who protested an environment-polluting project in Thuan Nam district in Ninh Thuan province and two farmers in Hanoi’s Duong Noi commune.
Nearly fourty years after the country’s reunification, numerous farmers who have been petioned for land seizure during the past ten years, said: In 1975, communists came to Saigon with empty suicases and rubber sandals while we had everything. Now they have all property which was ours.
However, the unfortunity came not only to the defeated side, but also to families of the winning side in the provinces of Thai Binh, Nghe An, Ha Tinh and even in the capital city of Hanoi. Farmers in these provinces contributed their human resources to the anti-France and anti-U.S. wars. However, they have been also supressed by state officials and their interest groups. There have been many people found to die during their detention in in police’s custody and their death were said to be suicides.
These deaths are evidences of police harassement in the brutal period of Vietnam in which the ruling party says it works for people.
It is a result of consequence of the approval of the Constitution 2013 by the legislators of the National Assembly. The newly-passed Constitution goes against the people’s will as it stipulates that all land belongs to the state. This state ownership of land has allowed state officials and interest groups to cooperate in taking land from farmers without paying adequate prices and selling at much higher prices to realty developers or foreign companies. The local authorities are not reluctant to use police to supress any protest from farmers who will stay without land for cultivation.
In recent years, land seizure for building real projects or developing industrial zones has been occurred in many localities across the nation, with the increasing level of brutality, making farmers to give up their production tool.
There are over million of farmers whose land has been seizured illegally. Hundreds of thousands of farmers have been suffered from environment pollution caused by mining and industrial projects.
Taking land from farmers and making them without production tool, the Vietnamese communist government repeatedly said it always ensures human rights in the country. Despite of conducting numerous violations of human rights, Vietnam was elected to the UN Human Right Council in last November.
Vietnamese farmers need to take actions to fight against political and interest groups.
Vietnam’s government must suspend projects which take land in Duong Noi’s farmers or cause environmental pollution in Thuan Nam district in Ninh Thuan province. Innocent residents need to be freed unconditionally and immediately. All state officials and police officers which violated law should be punished strictly.
Spending years in prisons and feeling these losses, members of the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience express deep sympathy with the supressed farmers whom the communist government turns into “prisoners of conscience”.
We call on all Vietnamese, especially farmers, to stand for democratic governance which respects law and human rights and allows all people to participate in the country’s development.
Steering Committee of the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience