Vietnam Threatens to Impose More Severe Measures to Prevent Public Demonstrations

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Vietnam Threatens to Impose More Severe Measures to Prevent Public Demonstrations

Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security will apply more severe measures to prevent spontaneous demonstrations to ensure the country’s political stability amid rising social dissatisfaction, said Minister Senior Lieutenant General To Lam.

The country’s security forces will work against “wrong opinions of reactionary groups” and ensure cyber security, said Gen. Lam who is a member of the ruling communist party’s Politburo, the most powerful decision-making body in the communist nation.

The police forces will also enhance its activities to cope with rising crimes, especially with organized criminal groups, Lam said at a meeting of the ministry in Hanoi on June 28 to review the police’s works in the first half of this year, with the presence of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The ministry reported that it busted 21,000 criminal cases, arresting 43,000 suspects in the first half.

Gen. Lam’s speech has triggered concerns among local human rights defenders who predicted the new wave of suppression against local dissent.

In May-June, Vietnam’s security forces violently dispersed peaceful demonstrations of thousands of environmentalists who bravely spoke about the mass death of marine species in the central coastal region. Security forces in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang beat and detained hundreds of environmentalists, including the elderly, female and children during peaceful protests which aimed to demand the government’s transparency in the investigation of the environmental disaster in the central region and ask the government to have urgent actions to deal with the catastrophe and bring the environmental polluters to justice.

Many international human rights groups such as the London-based Amnesty International and the New York-based Human Rights Watch as well as foreign governments from the U.S. and the EU have urged Vietnam to respect its international human rights obligations to allow local people to freely express their opinions.

In recent years, Vietnam has also violently suppressed patriotic demonstrations against China’s violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea (South China Sea), arresting and beating a number of peaceful protestors.

Hanoi has considered all spontaneous demonstrations illegal although the country’s Constitution 2013 states that people have rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.


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