Vietnam punishes 50 officials for illegal land revocation

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The Party unit's committee in the northern city of Hai Phong Thursday announced that 50 officials have been punished for their roles in the illegal land revocation that turned violent last January.

Among the violators were Le Van Hien, chairman of Tien Lang District, and vice chairman Nguyen Van Khanh, who were dismissed from their positions in late February, nearly two months after some 100 soldiers and police officers from the district stormed Doan Van Vuon's land to forcibly evict the residents.

The punishments were most severe for the duo, while others were ordered to review their actions, according to a report on VnExpress Thursday.

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The January 5 case, which resulted in six policemen and soldiers being injured by shotguns and homemade mines Vuon and his family used to resist the revocation of their land, has drawn a great deal of criticism.

The public outcry prompted Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to intervene, later concluding the revocation had been illegal and ordering Hai Phong authorities to punish the officials responsible.

Meanwhile, police are currently investigating accusations made by locals who have claimed that local authorities paid them to raze Vuon's two houses to the ground after the standoff.

Vuon and his family are also being probed, accused of attempted murder and opposing officials on duty.

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