No charges to be filed for cops, thugs who assaulted reporters

TN News

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Police in the northern province of Hung Yen said they would not propose criminal charges against the individuals that attacked two reporters during a violent land eviction in April.

Some of those involved in the beating were wearing police uniforms.

Nguyen Van Minh, deputy director of the province police, told Tuoi Tre "criminal punishment is not necessary."

On April 24, around 500 police officers armed with canes were deployed to force 166 farmers to leave land that had been slated for development. The farmers represented the 10 percent of the community who had not accepted the compensation offered by the government, saying the sum paled in comparison to the profits they could earn by continuing to farm.

Nguyen Ngoc Nam and Han Phi Long, two reporters from the national radio station Voice of Vietnam were assaulted while trying to cover the eviction. They said that some of their attackers were wearing police uniforms.

Last week, Minh said the civilian members of the posse would be fined for their role in the assault while the servicemen would be punished according to departmental regulations.

Minh did not name the government agencies to which those individuals belonged.

In Vietnam, private citizens are only given the land use rights, which can be privately traded. Those rights can also be revoked by the government, so long as the residents are compensated.

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In January, an eviction in Hai Phong grabbed national headlines when a farmer named Doan Van Vuon and his brothers opened fire on armed police and soldiers that had been dispatched to seize their land.

The eviction was later deemed illegal by the Prime Minister.

Vuon has been charged with staging violent resistance.

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