2 Vietnam women fined for taking off clothes to protest land eviction

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A woman and her daughter in the Vietnamese of Can Tho will be fined more than VND1.5 million (US$71.68) for taking off their clothes to protest their family's eviction from their land last May.

Pham Thi Lai, 52, and Ho Thuy Nguyen, 33, "flouted traditional habits and customs" and interfered in the "normal activities" of organizations, the news website quoted the Cai Rang District People's Committee as saying.

Earlier authorities ordered the police to investigate the acts of the two women in entering a construction site of the Investment and Construction Joint Stock Company (CIC8) No.8 and stripping as a sign of protest against the compensation amount paid to their family.

The police concluded their acts were not serious enough to file criminal charges and recommended fines instead.

CIC8 will also be asked to review its actions for failing to follow the law.

The six security guards who forcibly dragged the women away will be fined VND350,000 ($16.72) each for not having licenses.

Since 2002 Lai's family has been protesting to various agencies about the compensation CIC8 paid for their 3,000-square-meter land, saying it was too low. The company acquired the land for developing the Hung Phu Residential Area.

All their appeals were rejected, the news website reported.

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Originally the family was offered over VND292 million ($14,000) plus VND100 million for building a house and 150 square meters of land.

Later, in August, 2010, the Cai Rang District Land Development Center and CIC8 held a meeting with the family and offered over VND1.2 billion ($57,500). But the family rejected it and asked for more.

On May 22 Lai and her daughter entered the site, and Lai's son filmed everything that happened there.

It was also reported that six months ago Lai's husband attempted to commit suicide by drinking pesticides in front of an office related to land eviction, but survived.

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