Women beaten as demand compensation from Vietnamese firm

By Giang Son, Thanh Nien News

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Le Thi Muoi, 27, is being treated at the Phu Quoc General Hospital following a brutal assault she incurred while trying to demand compensation for her seized land. Doctors performed a surgery on Muoi to treat her for internal injuries. PHOTO: GIANG SON

A group of residents in Kien Giang's island district of Phu Quoc were beaten and hospitalized, Saturday, after trying to stop a company from building on their land before paying them due compensation.
The land area had been shared by 14 families in Duong To Commune until BIM Kien Giang Company removed them years ago.
The company, which is a subsidiary of Ha Long-based food exporter and property and commerce developer, dispatched construction equipment to the site before compensating the previous users of the land.
All land in Vietnam belongs to the government, but the use rights can be bought and sold by private and public entities. Companies that take over people’s land are expected to pay due compensation.
Le Thi Dung, a 42-year-old local, said she and other residents had come to the site and tried to explain that they meant to cause no trouble but wanted their compensation.
“Two men immediately grabbed me by the shoulders and dragged me away. My sister Le Thi Muoi (27) ran over to stop them but others pressed her to the ground and kept punching and kicking her.”
Dung said her 19-year-old nephew was also beaten as he tried to rescue them.
Nguyen Quoc Dung, 52, another resident who is awaiting compensation, said that after he filmed the violence with his cell phone, a group of assailants seized his phone, held him on the ground and beat him.
Dung said they only stopped when Muoi passed out.
Nguyen Thanh Binh, a surgeon at Phu Quoc General Hospital, said Muoi was admitted with head and chest pains and internal injuries to her abdomen.
She had to undergo a surgery and remains under a doctors’ surveillance.
Dung said the company has made numerous compensation promises only to go back on them. Following the expiration of their most recent deadline, March 31, residents met with the company leaders, on Friday, to demand that they pay compensation them or stop work.
“They didn’t agree,” he said.
Nguyen Van Minh, deputy chief of the Duong To Commune Police, confirmed the violence had occurred. He said weapons had been seized from the site and several of the attackers have been transferred to the district police pending further investigation.
Minh said the assault was caused by members of a criminal gang in the area.
“I don’t understand why the company kept delaying compensation. Anyone would be angry and try to stop the construction for their money,” he said.

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