The right to live in security

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Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thuy, 28, who is in a Ho Chi Minh City hospital, almost lost her right hand after four robbers slashed her wrist three times when she was driving a motorbike in District 2 on November 24 to steal her handbag

Life in Vietnam feels more insecure and intense these days, as cases of increasingly aggressive robberies and street fights have been reported in the media with more frequency recently, and with the death rate rising for those involved.

When it was published in local newspapers earlier this week, the photo of 28-year-old Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thuy lying on a hospital bed with her right hand buried in white bandages after almost being cut off by robbers caused a stir and increased anxiety among the public.

No one was able to stay calm when reading the news that four men, including two teenagers, slashed Thuy's right wrist three times as she drove her motorbike across a bridge in Ho Chi Minh City's District 2 the night of November 24. The criminals also attacked the man who tried to help Thuy before fleeing the scene with her handbag.

What possible excuse could be made for these thieves"”who had all been arrested by Monday"”for brutally slashing a helpless young woman continuously until her hand was almost cut off?

About a month ago, HCMC citizens became understandably depressed over reports that a group of six young men, as young as 14-years-old, stabbed a man to death after failing to force him and his girlfriend to give them money and their mobile phones in District 12.

Then, earlier, in September, Hoang Ngoc Tri, 22, was also killed whilst resisting a man attempting to steal his laptop on a street in Tan Binh District. The robber also stabbed a police officer who was trying to prevent him from fleeing the scene.

Whether their victims are young or old, men or women, these thieves are willing to attack with any weapon at their disposal. Slashing, stabbing and shooting.

No days pass in Vietnam without news reports involving brutal robberies. People in Vietnam live each day worrying that they will be the next victims of such evils, even when they are in their houses, where fatal robberies are occurring, quite a lot actually, and have been making headlines.

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A former police officer, who used to deal with numerous complicated crimes, couldn't help but lament: "Terrible! How come there are so many brutal robberies?"

He told me earlier that robbery-murder cases used to only be committed by professional gangs, whose behavior was predictable, including in terms of their targets, but now such viciousness could be conducted by anyone, targeting anybody.

Additionally, more and more murders are being committed for the most unbelievable reasons.

A drunken man was stabbed to death just because he accidentally vomited on the leg of another man in a bathroom.

A university student beat another man to death just because the latter allegedly glared at his girlfriend.

A fatal fracas took place after two groups fought over a karaoke room.

Who could stay calm when reading the news that a ninth-grader in the northern province of Hung Yen drowned her friend because the friend had been cold to her?

Who didn't feel worried when an eleventh-grader in the southern province of Dong Nai broke into a house and stabbed an 80-year-old woman to death to steal a gold ring?

There are many reasons for this bad situation, namely the living environment in general, the education system, insufficient laws and the breakdown of the family. How to solve this problem remains a big question, not only for the government, but for society as a whole.

People are desperate to live in a safe environment where they are protected from all these dangers. That desire is not merely a need, but also a right people have the right to live safely as they fulfill their obligations to their country.

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