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VIETNAM: Hmong Church Leader Beaten to Death in Police Custody

According to a local church leader, police beat Vam Ngaij Vaj around his neck and shoulders and probably electrically shocked him, resulting in his death on 17 March.

Vaj, of Cu Jut District, Dak Nong Province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, and his wife were clearing brush from their field in nearby Dak Ha Commune of Dak Glong District when they were arrested for “illegally destroying the forest” on 16 March.

Hmong churches in the Central Highlands often report harassment by a communist regime that views Christianity as a threat, and the spurious charge of “destroying forest” on their own property was consistent with such harassment.

Police informed Vaj’s younger brother that an autopsy would be performed. Officers subsequently announced that he had died from electric shock by placing his hand in an electrical outlet. Vaj’s body was eventually released to the family, and the church arranged a funeral and buried Vaj on 21 March. Sources: VOM sources, Morning Star News, Assist News Service

 

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