Vietnam sentences two to dying for police killings

Two of the 29 accused within the case of the deadly Dong Tam land dispute in Vietnam have been sentenced to dying.

The remainder of these on trial got sentences starting from life imprisonment to 15 months suspended.

Police entered the village of Dong Tam in January to safe building of a fence round land seized to guard an airport however have been met with resistance.

The ensuing clashes left three policeman and one retired native official lifeless.

What occurred in Dong Tam?

In January 2020, police arrived within the village to assist safe the world as the military constructed a boundary wall round land annexed by the defence ministry across the Mieu Mon airport.

The land was topic to a dispute with villagers, who mentioned they’d not been correctly recompensed for its seizure by the federal government.

According to authorities, a bunch of residents led by Le Dinh Kinh, a retired native official, violently resisted the police, and three officers – Col Nguyen Huy Thinh, Cpt Pham Cong Huy and Lt Duong Duc Hoang Quan – have been set on fireplace and burned to dying.

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Le Dinh Kinh, a former authorities official, grew to become a vocal opponent of the land seize

Mr Kinh was later shot lifeless by police, who mentioned they encountered him holding a grenade. His son, Le Dinh Chuc, was injured within the raid. Deputy Minister Luong Tam Quang mentioned police had seized petrol bombs, iron rods and different weapons.

Mr Kinh’s household and supporters disputed the official account. In the next days, three of Mr Kinh’s household appeared on TV with bruised faces, apparently admitting to possessing do-it-yourself weapons and petrol bombs. Rights groups said the confessions were forced, and Mr Kinh’s spouse, Du Thi Thanh, mentioned she was crushed by police.

How did the dispute begin?

The dispute started about three years in the past when the Vietnamese navy started work on an airport at Mieu Mon, near Dong Tam village.

Residents complained that about 50 hectares (124 acres) of their land had been unfairly taken over and handed to Viettel Group, Vietnam’s military-run communications firm.

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Image caption

Protests first got here to a head in Dong Tam in 2017

All land in communist Vietnam is owned by the state, so the federal government can technically use what it needs for navy or civilian functions. But locals protested that they’d not been correctly compensated for the seized land, and resisted the try and take it.

The dispute first got here to wider public consideration in 2017, when 4 folks have been arrested for “disturbing public order” in protests towards the land acquisition.

Villagers retaliated by holding 38 officials, together with law enforcement officials, inside a neighborhood home for a few week. They were eventually released after the authorities agreed some concessions.

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