ICC Note: Vietnam is considered to be one of the worst violators of religious freedom and these arrests are just a glimpse of the injustice the Montagnard Degar Christians have suffered.
Background: The indigenous Montagnard 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 July 2006 the US State Department has continued to maintain Vietnam on the watch list of countries that are the worst violators of religious freedom. To date over 350 Degar prisoners remain in Vietnamese prisons for charges involving merely standing up for human rights, for spreading Christianity or for fleeing to Cambodia . Information below received direct from Vietnam .
Peaceful Prayer Vigil: A pproximately 2,200 Montagnard Degar Christians attended a peaceful prayer vigil on 28 June 2006 at Buon Tara Puor village, Hoa Dong commune, Krong Pac district, Daklak province to pray that God will soften the hearts of the Vietnamese government to stop persecuting the Degar people. Initially, 285 Degar students from all four provinces of the Central Highlands came to the prayer vigil and many Christians from around the area joined them until over 2,200 people arrived. At 1:30 pm Vietnamese police came to the prayer vigil and started collecting names of the Degar Christians who attended. After the prayer vigil the Degar Christians returned to their villages. A few days later the Vietnamese police started making arrests such as the female students below.
The Arrest on 2 July 2006: H’Dion Buonya and H’Phiang Nie two female Christian students took a bus back to their school in Ho Chi Minh City . When they got to bridge number 14, the Vietnamese police stopped the bus and arrested them and took the two girls to the prison in Buonmathuot city. H’Dion Buonya, (female) was born November 27, 1984 and H’Phiang Nie, (female) was born June 17, 1985 . Both are Montagnard Degar students who were attending a school in Ho Chi Minh City but are originally from Buon Tara Puor village, Hoa Dong commune, Krong Pac district, Daklak province [Go To Full Story]