In addition to giving death sentences and heavy imprisonment for three generations of elderly communal leader Le Dinh Kinh, authorities in Hanoi continue their repressive actions against his family and local activists who dare to speak out against the unlawful attitude of the court.
Dr. Nguyen Quang A, one of the strongest speakers and directly submitted a petition to the Hanoi People’s Procuracy denouncing the brutal killing of Mr. Le Dinh Kinh, was kidnapped on the afternoon of September 17 by a group of security officers just because he had an appointment with a US Ambassador.
He recounted what happened in an article on Facebook titled “Strongly protest illegal acts of Vietnam’s security forces.” Its content is as follows:
I received an invitation from the US Ambassador to attend a coffee session at his residence at 3.30 pm this afternoon. I planned to go to the bank to do a transaction before the meeting. At 2 pm, I went out and recognized 10 policemen, many of them were familiar faces, I knew I couldn’t go, so I came back to inform the Ambassador that I could not go to the appointment.
However, shortly after that, the policemen rushed to kidnap me, and put me in their car and drove me straight to the ward police station, where I was detained many times. I strongly objected and said their behavior was illegal.
They know they want to stop me from going to meet the US Ambassador, but they have to draw a reason: ask me about my posts on Facebook, wanting me to confirm it’s mine and sign the minutes. I told them, this is the 18th time that they have disregarded the law so I will NOT answer any questionnaire type of investigation and will NOT sign any documents!
Then I turned to talk about everything from Dong Tam to ancient genetics.
There are many other things, I take advantage of the time and sometimes scold them from kidnappers and criminals, but mainly to do security, from Dong Tam to land reform, Humanity products, … to national development policy, scientific policy, US relations with China, …, knowing that water spilled potato leaves but maybe they understand something.
At 5.50 pm, they released me.”
Previously, Dr. Nguyen Quang A wrote a brief comment on the Dong Tam case with straight words calling directly four highest leaders of the Party and the State of Vietnam to be responsible for the Dong Tam crime. These are the four names General Secretart cum President Nguyen Phu Trong, Chief of Propaganda Vo Van Thuong, Minister of Public Security To Lam and Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung. His article titled “A Crazy Justice” probably made the Hanoi government very angry, so they kidnapped him. His writing as below:
A Crazy Justice
1/ Police forces:
– Police violate the law: they stormed into people’s private residence at night without approval of the local authorities, seriously violating the Constitution on inviolability of the house (in mid-January 2020, I already said house owners may use all weapons including nuclear one to deal with invaders). That is, the police committed crimes from the beginning (now they claim to be according to the plan approved by To Lam and Nguyen Duc Chung);
– Investigation: the investigators fabricated everything and made a scenario with impossible (put a fire in the gas tank and pour into the pit); torture for coersive confession.
– Not allowing the lawyers to access to the entire investigation file (video tapes, and some other files) is a blatant violation of the criminal procedure law.
– Failure to meet the legal requirements of lawyers to access records.
– Blatant violations of the law such as not allowing lawyers to contact the defendants (only after the attorneys publicly protest and the whole world knows, they removed the restriction.
4 / – Using documents (video staged by security) that are not on file to forge evidence or to document affecting the proceedings of the trial. A bizarre “creation” that has never been seen in court history.
Representatives of the Procuracy at the trial include Lai Viet Dong (right) and Do Hoang Giang (left).
– Violating the criminal procedure law built by the Communist Party of Vietnam in many respects, especially the innocence assumption.
5/ State-controlled media:
– Instead of having to clearly distinguish two types of articles: a) truth reflection, and b) commenting (expert subjective), the state-controlled media acts like the court and always repeats the opinion of the Ministry of Public Security.
Dr. Nguyen Quang A affirmed.
The trial of Dong Tam was considered as temporarily ended, but the government did not release the people of Dong Tam, especially the relatives of Mr. Le Dinh Kinh. The following information was provided by the villagers of Dong Tam, but they did not dare to name because they feared revenge by the police.
The police brutally tortured the arrested people, forcing them to confess their crimes. For those who stubbornly have not plead guilty, police threatened to kill their family and relatives, so everyone must confess.
At first in court, Mr. Le Dinh Chuc, Mr. Le Dinh Cong, and Mr. Bui Viet Hieu did not plead guilty and denounced the police for torture, but that night, three people were tortured all night, threatened that the police would execute other relatives such as Le Dinh Uy, Le Dinh Doanh, so in the end, all three of them had to make false confession the next day in a bid to protect their loved ones’ lives.
Each family still has one person locked in prison as hostage. If Dong Tam citizens are released in court and dare to testify that they have been tortured in prison, the police would kill their family members in the prison, so everyone is afraid to testify about their torture.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Duyen – the wife of defendant Le Dinh Uy, the grandson-in-law of Mr. Kinh, is constantly harassed by the police and threatened not to post on Facebook. They threatened to stop Duyen from doing business. No one dares to let Duyen rent a space to continue to open a clothing and footwear shop,” people in Dong Tam revealed.
On the afternoon of September 18, 2020, the Spokesman of the EU Delegation in Vietnam issued a statement opposing the two death sentences imposed on Mr. Le Dinh Cong and Mr. Le Dinh Chuc, and at the same time questioned: “about the transparency and fairness of this trial“.
The full text of the statement of the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam is as follows:
“On September 14, 2020, the Hanoi People’s Court handed down death sentences to defendants Le Dinh Cong and Le Dinh Chuc over their involvement in the tragic confrontation between civilians and security forces at Dong Tam commune on January 9, 2020.
The European Union is opposed to the use of capital punishment in all forms and under all circumstances and consistently calls for its universal abolition. The death penalty is cruel and inhumane and its abolition is essential to protect every person’s right to life. There is a large and growing consensus in the world against the use of the death penalty. The EU urges Vietnam to adopt a moratorium on its use, as the first step towards abolition.
Reports about the conditions and proceedings of the trial also raise serious concerns. The EU and its Member States strongly advocate for the rule of law and for the full right to a fair trial, as stipulated in Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is a signatory party.