Less than a day after the Human Rights Dialogue between the European Union and Vietnam on March 4, 2019, was conducted, the Vietnamese police continue to commit blatant violations of the people’s rights.
Two hours ago, the police came and arrested one of the active members of a group consisting of concerned citizens who have been fighting against what they alleged as illegal activities associated with the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) toll booths across Vietnam.
Ha Van Nam, the victim, posted on Facebook that the police came and searched his house. Later, other Facebookers cited his wife’s statement to confirm his arrest.
Ha Van Nam was viciously beaten up by men in plainclothes back in January 2019 whom he alleged that they were plainclothes officers. He suffered two broken ribs and other injuries. The perpetrators later threw him at the front gate of Dan Phuong hospital in Hanoi.
Today, his last post on Facebook stated that the police came to his house and alleged that he committed the crime of “inciting public disorder.”
“Inciting public disorder” is a crime that has been routinely used against activists and protestors in Vietnam in the most arbitrary manner.
Often, the government would accuse anyone of committing this crime when they participate in any civil disobedience act.
Journalist Pham Doan Trang wrote on her Facebook this morning after the incident went viral on social media:
“Upon the arrest today of driver Ha Van Nam for ‘disrupting peace,’ once again, we highlight that it is time the Vietnamese government immediately decriminalizes and depoliticize civil affairs. We firmly believe that government-endorsed violence with impunity can only lead to more violence in society.”