A group of protesters contemporarily arrested in the march “Walking for the Green Trees” of April 26 have filed a complaint to the police department of Hanoi, denouncing police and the so-called “civil order defense” force for arbitrary detention of peaceful activists. This is the first time Vietnamese protesters take a legal action against those who suppress them.
The compliant, dated May 28, wrote, “As do the majority of people in the country, we were so frustrated and infuriated with the massive destruction of trees across Hanoi… However, right when we joined together [for the march], a group of more than 100 men who wore either red bands labelling themselves as “civil order defenders” or police uniform rushed to us… They extended their arms to bar us from moving forward, blocking all of our accesses, directing their megaphones to us and causing jarring noises to disturb our peaceful rally.”
“Then these men began to push and pinch us sharply on our body. They were particularly rude to women. Some woman protesters in the traditional ao dai were pushed and pulled so harsh that their ao dai were torned and their limbs got bruised… There were 19 people arrested arbitrarily by those self-claimed “civil order defenders” at 10am… During the subsequent interrogation at the Long Bien police station, those arrestors tried to extort and defamed us by accusing us of “causing public disorder”. When we asked them to present evidence for their accusation, none of them gave us any evidence or proof based on which they slanderously accused us.”