Teenager prosecuted for opposing land eviction

Tuan in his "fashion of landlost farmers".

The authorities have indicted a fifteen year old boy in connection with a violent confrontation over land evictions at his village near Ho Chi Minh City.

The boy, Nguyen Mai Trung Tuan, was charged with resisting persons in the performance of their official duties.

12 members of his extended family were arrested after the clash in April.

Farmers charged previously in similar circumstances – under Article 257 of the Vietnamese Penal Code – have faced prison terms of more than a year.

Tuan has been on the run since April when officials arrived at the village in Long An province to evict residents from repossessed land.

He was wanted on suspicion of “intentionally inflicting injuries” and was arrested on August 6.

The family had attempted to put up resistance when officials arrived at their village to clear them from the land.

They have been held in custody ever since although Tuan’s 13-year-old sister, Nguyen Mai Thao Vy, was granted bail.

They are accused of arming themselves in preparation for an attack on the enforcement team.

Details of the clash are sketchy but unconfirmed reports said the family had tried to use gas canisters and petrol to hold off the officials.

There were also reports that anti-Communist slogans were chanted.

The family have complained they received far too little compensation for the land which they say was sold on to developers at a vastly higher price.

There were no confirmed reports of injuries on the authorities’ side.