Four men stand trial in Ha Tinh Province on September 25 for taking part in a mob attack last April. Photo: Nguyen Dung
A court in the north-central province of Ha Tinh sentenced four men for their roles in an April protest against police.
The violence was prompted by seething communal opposition to a planned government project.
Nguyen Dinh Ba, 24, and Nguyen Chau, 55, received 30 months and 27 months, respectively, for kidnapping.
Le Van Tinh, 27, and Duong Huu Tinh, 39, got two years each for “disturbing public security.”
According to the indictment, on April 10, four police officers visited the home of Truong Van Truong, a resident in Thach Ha District’s Bac Son Commune to take him into custody for "disturbing public security.”
Between March 13 and April 10 Truong and four others had gathered to protest the planned Vinh Hang cemetery project in Bac Son. They reportedly threw rocks at several officials’ homes and insulted police officers.
Truong and his family members resisted arrest.
Around 700 locals rushed to the scene to protest the action. In the chaos that ensued, the protesters abducted and beat the four police officers.
Investigators said Ba and Chau kidnapped and tied the officers up in his kitchen, while Van Tinh and Huu Tinh incited the mob to insult and beat them.
More than 100 officers were mobilized to the site to rescue the kidnapped officers, but continued to face attacks from the mob.
Five members of the team were injured by rocks thrown during the rescue effort.
Later that day, locals amassed around the headquarters of the Bac Son People’s Committee and burned 11 motorbikes that local officials had parked there.
The group then surrounded the homes of several local officials and hurled stones into them. They were also accused of vandalizing the home of Nguyen Khac Son, chief of the commune’s police, and burning his motorbike.
On Tuesday, Truong was sentenced to two and a half years for “disturbing public security” along with four others in a separate trial.
Bac Son residents opposed to the Vinh Hang cemetery project as they feared it would consume limited communal farmland, leaving many households without a place to farm or live.