Recent Crackdowns Of Vietnamese Activists

The Vietnamese authorities have heated up their crackdowns in recent weeks.  With the arrests of many Vietnamese activists who have risen to defend victims of the Communist government, human rights activism is steadily becoming a  recurring force that the government has to deal with.  Among the persecuted are four land-rights activists, a lawyer, and a college professor (pictured right).

The land-rights activists have taken up some cases in defence of individuals who have been victimized by the land grabbing Communist Party.  One high profile case involved families living in south Mekong Delta whose homes are being confiscated, stolen, by the Vietnamese government.  The four activists involved in this case are pastor Duong Kim Khai, activists Cao Van Tinh, Tran Thi Thuy, and Doan Thai Duyen Hai.

Also, Vietnamese lawyer Huynh Van Dong has been suspended from practicing law for taking part in the defence of human rights activists.  The Vietnamese government has found him “guilty” of contempt for the court, “disrespecting the law,” and his attempts to “degrade the credibility and offend the Communist Party of Vietnam.”  Huynh Van Dong also represented democracy activists Pham Van Thong and Tran Thi Thuy in their preliminary trials.

Last week, college professor Pham Minh Hoang was charged with “subversion” and spreading “propaganda against the state,” both of which are common charges for dissidents and democracy activists.  Pham Minh Hoang is a French educated Vietnamese returning home to help develop the country through education and knowledge.  However, Pham Minh Hoang’s qualifications have somehow become a threat to the government, so the professor/blogger has been sentenced to three years in jail by the ruling Communist Party.

The crackdowns seem to be more frequent in Vietnam as of late.  Whether the democracy movement is gaining momentum or the Party has just spruced up their security forces is yet to be determined.  In any case, it is apparent that democracy is becoming more understood as a necessity in Vietnam.  There are many facing jail time for their dauntless activism of human rights and democracy, a movement that will only grow stronger with time.

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