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Vietnam continues to violate Montagnard human rights because they are Christian

ICC NOTE: The Vietnamese government has been particularly harsh on the Montagnard Degar villages because the majority of this ethnic minority is Christian. The situation is becoming worse and worse, as freedoms are daily taken from this people group by Vietnamese authorities. Be praying that they have strength in faith at this time, and that justice will prevail. It will take international assistance to help this collection of villages; the government has not protected the human rights of this ethnic minority.

June 8th, 2006

AsiaNews

Hanoi (AsiaNews/MFI) – The Vietnamese government continues to pursue policies that violate human rights, in particular those of the largely Christian Montagnard ethnic minority, this according to reports from an NGO, the Montagnard Foundation Incorporated (MFI).

The organization, which has close contacts in many of Vietnam ’s regions, including mountain areas near the Lao border, announced on May 29 that Vietnamese security forces “commenced excavation of tunnels at the mountain of Cu Ming and Cu Da to store ammunition, arms and various military equipments. The villagers in the surrounding area were forcibly restricted from leaving or entering their villages.”

The organisation also reports that an estimated 350 Degar Montagnard Christians are in Vietnamese prisons because of their faith. It reported that security forces are trying to isolate the communities living in the central plateaus from the outside world.

On May 12, an estimated 250 Vietnamese soldiers began sweeping operations near the village of Buon Dak Ndrung in DakNo province “searching for anyone with a cell phone”. About 70 police officers also searched for mobile phones in the village of Dak Rteh , also in Daknong province. According to MFI, similar operations took place in April in several villages of Daklak province.

Vietnam remains on the US State Department’s list of countries violating human rights and religious freedom.

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