Montagnard: Arrests and Torture Continues
Below is an extract from an article published by BosNewsLife News Center, with reports from Stefan J. Bos;
"We would like to inform you that at around 1:00 AM, February 4, Vietnam authorities arrested [lawyers] Le Thi Cong Nhan and Nguyen Van Dai as well as Engineer Bach Ngoc Duong and several other democratic activists" at an attorney's office in Hanoi, the capital," said leaders of the International Movement for Democracy and Human Rights in Vietnam.
In a letter to the US Embassy in
The arrests came shortly after reports that Vietnamese security forced allegedly tortured two members of the predominantly Christian Degar-Montagnards in the country's Central Highlands.
One of the victims was described as 21-year-old Yum from the
Yum reportedly denied the charges, saying he would not have gone to the police station if he had something to hide. One police officer responded by attacking "Yum on his neck, chin, mouth and ears," said the Montagnard Foundation Incorporated (MFI) in a statement to BosNewsLife.
Grun, who is from the same village, was named as another victim. He was also taken to the local Security Police station on January 24 where officers allegedly "were using martial arts to beat him mercilessly." Although Grun "did not talk back to them, they still beat him up severely." At noon Grun too was allowed to leave "but his face and eyes were all bruised up and swollen and he could barely walk," MFI claimed. He is reportedly unable to work and is recovering from what MFI described as "severe" injuries at home.
At least 350 other predominantly Christian Degar-Montagnards are believed to be in several prisons of
The Vietnamese authorities have denied human rights abuses. They point out that last week Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met with Pope Benedict XVI at the
However MFI and other groups believe that