A court in Hanoi sentenced a land legal rights activist to almost 2 yrs imprisonment on Tuesday on her role in protesting government-sanctioned evictions that are used to obvious the way in which for real estate developments in Vietnam.
Can Thi Theu was charged of causing public disorder and sentenced to twenty several weeks imprisonment for demonstrations in June that targeted the federal government for land which was grabbed within the Duong Noi area around the borders of Hanoi, certainly one of her attorneys, Nguyen Kha Thanh, told RFA’s Vietnamese Service.
“The mother and father to safeguard the people’s to petition, however in this situation they used plainclothes policemen to arrest and cargo the petitioners on buses,” stated Ha Huy Boy, another person in Theu’s defense team.
Theu was arrested through the Hanoi police on June 10 when she and most 50 other demonstrators collected in the Secretary of state for the Atmosphere to tender petitions seeking a strategy to the land conflict in Duong Noi village, where her family lives.
It had been the 2nd time Theu was charged on her role in land-grab protests. In 2014 she was sentenced to fifteen several weeks in prison for the same protest.
Vietnam continues to be experiencing an improvement boom that’s pushing small landholders aside in support of more profitable property projects.
Among the ‘dan oan’
While all land in Vietnam takes place through the condition, land confiscations have grown to be a flashpoint as residents accuse the federal government of snatching valuable plots and having to pay way too little in compensation for their residents.
“Land confiscation and abuse of legal rights is really a serious issue in Vietnam, so much in fact that there’s a brand new term in Vietnamese for individuals losing land to numerous private and public projects backed through the government: Dan oan, literally citizen suffering injustice,” stated Phil Robertson, Human Legal rights Watch deputy director, Asia division.
Public protests are illegal in Vietnam, however the land grabs have become so beyond control that individuals risk jail time to protest the seizures.
Tuesday introduced a replay of earlier land protests, as eyewitnesses told RFA that 200 everyone was demonstrating outdoors the Hanoi courthouse.
“We are presently sitting outdoors,” a player from Duong Noi told RFA throughout the trial. “There are lots of policemen around here. They’ve encircled us.”
Another witness told RFA the demonstrators held banners saying “arresting innocent people is really a crime,” and “freedom for Can Thi Theu.”
“Police speak to their loudspeakers, telling us to maneuver away,” that witness stated.
“Farmers using their company places like Hai Duong, Thanh Oai and Van Giang will also be here.”
‘Policemen as well as their villains’
The government’s reaction seemed to be the same as before, as police put together the protestors and loaded them onto buses, and arrested activist Thao Teresa, stated Theu’s boy Trinh Ba Phoung.
“The government mobilized lots of policemen to prevent us from visiting the court,” he told RFA. “This is really a serious breach of human legal rights. We ask worldwide human legal rights organizations to witness today’s trial since this is an action of violence stemming from police.”
He added: “They crack lower upon us, and surround us whenever we hold a peaceful protest. We must deal with the violence in the policemen as well as their villains.”
Theu’s conviction comes at any given time when Vietnam’s human legal rights record is under new scrutiny. As the country continues to be going after closer ties using the West, specially the U.S. and also the Eu, it’s proven little need to curb authorities’ appetite for jailing and intimidating activists, bloggers and dissidents.
Human Legal rights Watch’s Robertson stated Theu’s conviction is yet another illustration of Vietnam’s “systematic denial from the right of peaceful protest.”
"Can Thi Theu is an additional victim of Vietnam’s kangaroo courts, where guilt and prison sentences are based on the ruling party, and there’s no respect for fair trial standards or justice,” Robertson stated.
“People like Can Thi Theu don’t initially decide to become land legal rights activists, but when they’re facing lack of land and livelihood, there’s no choice,” he added. “If there is any justice in Vietnam, Thi Theu could be focusing on her farm in peace, rather of going to prison after an illegal trial.”
As reported by Mac Lam for RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Converted by Viet Ha. Designed in British by Brooks Boliek.