United Nations (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization) Takes Up Montagnard Cause
The indigenous Montagnards (Degar) Peoples have suffered decades of persecution by the government of Vietnam , namely; confiscation of their ancestral lands, Christian religious repression, torture, killings and imprisonment. In March 2006 the US State Department has continued to maintain Vietnam on the watch list of countries that are the worst violators of religious freedom and over 300 Montagnards still remain in Vietnamese prisons. Religious and ethnic persecution continues against the indigenous Montagnards while Vietnam continues negotiations to gain accession into the World Trade Organization. Vietnam also continues to take repressive measures to prevent human rights abuses from reaching the international community however, the following abuses have just been received direct from inside the Central Highlands.
Beaten Unconscious for Refusing to join the Official Government Church
On March 2, 2006 the Vietnamese government committee from Ia Ko commune summoned our Christian Brother Siu Phon, (age 46, from the village of Plei Sur ) to meet with them at their commune office. There the police tortured Siu Phon by repeatedly punching and kicking him until he lost control of his bowels and he collapsed unconscious on the prison floor covered in his own excrement. Siu Phon had refused to abandon Christianity and refused to join the church that is recognized by the government. He is now imprisoned at the prison facility in Cu Se district and the condition of his health is unknown.
Arrested for refusing to join the Official Government Church
On March 5, 2006 the Vietnamese government committee from Ia Ko commune summoned our Christian Brother, Siu Thit (age 43, from the village of Plei Sur ) to meet with them at their commune office. He attended the meeting with his wife and when they arrived at the commune office he was arrested by police for refusing to join the official government recognized Church. The police took him to the police station at Cu Se district in Gialai province and sent his wife away. It is unknown what has happened to Siu Thit at this time but it is feared he was tortured like Siu Phon above. He is now imprisoned at the prison facility in Cu Se district and the condition of his health is unknown.