Forced Confessions During A Trial Of Anti-Corruption Protesters in Vietnam
The group of 29 protesters are facing charges of murder and obstruction during the protest in January at the Dong Tam village on the outskirts of Hanoi.
The witnesses' reports are clear. The 5,000 police and armed forces stormed the village of Hoành in Đồng Tâm commune in the middle of the night of January 9. With loudspeakers, fire-arms and tear gas police attacked protesters. The officers killed a respected 84-year-old protest leader in front of his wife. At least three others received serious wounds. What was the reason for the protest?
It was another land-grab for the benefit of the firms connected with top Vietnamese Communist Party officials in Hanoi. The villagers lost their farming land. The regime planned to build an airport.
The protesters streamed police attack, and photographed it. The footage leaves no doubt. The police used a great amount of force against the villagers not the other way round, as the evidence presented by Vietnamese opposition on the Viet Tan, the opposition news service, indicated.
However, under the Communist system, a citizen is a subject stripped of every right. This week the court in Hanoi confirmed once again this truth honouring the tramped up charges based on enforced confessions of twenty-nine defendants.
Communist Judge violating human rights
All of them dared to challenge the basic tenet of the Communist Party system, which is corruption. The corruption and privileges are a true source of wealth of the ruling regime that Vietnamese people never elected.
The court is an extension of this evil system which not even in one detail reminds the true court of the Western democratic system.
The judges are puppets who careers, wealth and even lives depend on the humour of usually uneducated, and possibly guilty of crimes Communist apparatchiks.
On Monday Vietnamese functionary of the so-called justice system, the judge, once again proved that in Communist-ruled state the truth is always losing with the inhumane dictate of the system.
The judge by himself violated all of the human rights of the defendants, their families and their lawyers.
The court allowed for the screening of the film rejecting objections of the defence lawyers. Vietnam's Communist Party propaganda television produced the pseudo-documentary, which falsely accused the defendants of committing crimes. Such screening not only prejudices their right to a fair trial but is turning court to the propaganda cinema, emphasised attorney Mr Dang Dinh Manh.
A manipulated film hidden from the defendant attorneys
“I challenged this because the producers edited the film to justify the accusations,” Mr Dang stated.
The lawyers could not watch the so-called interviews with their defendants before the trial. It is another violation of the principle of a fair trial that must guarantee access to the evidence.
The human rights defenders stressed the fact the Communist regime has regularly falsified the trials of the opposition. Such courts cannot be trusted, they warned.
Confessions under the tortures
Use of torture and forced confessions are common in police custody in Vietnam, Mr Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director of Human Rights Watch stated, noting that detainees showed confessing on Vietnamese television less than a week after the Dong Tam clash had “many bruises on their faces.”
Quite clearly, the authorities want to hit them with very harsh penalties to warn off others who might dare to challenge state authority in the future, he commented.
Mr Robertson emphasised that to support transparency and fairness in the trial, Communist Vietnam should allow international observers including journalists, diplomats, and non-governmental organisations to observe proceedings in the court.