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Why Did The State Department Remove Vietnam From The Religious Watch List

11/14/06 Vietnam (Montanard Foundation) President George Bush is scheduled to attend the Asian Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) summit this week from 17 November 2006 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Montagnard Foundation has received information from its people inside the Central Highlands of Vietnam over the last few weeks that Vietnamese authorities have increased the mobilization of soldiers to the region. Hundreds of villagers report soldiers stationed at their villages. Further, in the last few weeks and months, the Vietnamese security police have confiscated mobile cell phones from numerous Montagnard Degar people, often beating and torturing these people. Arrests, torture and one reported killing have occurred in the last few weeks. Some villages report that troops occupy the village while others report soldiers stationed surrounding the village. In some cases smaller groups of soldiers have been stationed at the village who are prepared to radio for reinforcements. The villagers report the soldiers and security police have threatened to shoot any Montagnards who attempt to leave these villages or speak to foreigners about what is happening.

VILLAGES OCCUPIED BY SOLDIERS & POLICE IN DAK LAK PROVINCE

On 5 November 2006 the Vietnamese government sent soldiers to occupy the following Degar villages in Daklak province where they remain to this day:

Buon Sut Hluot village, district Cu Mgar has stationed 20 police and 20 soldiers.
Buon Tring village, district Krong Buk, has stationed 20 police and 30 soldiers.
Buon Ea Hmlai village, district Mdrak, has stationed 10 police and 30 soldiers.
Buon Moak village, district Mdrak, has stationed 10 police and 30 soldiers.
Buon Cuoi village, district Krong Ana, has stationed 20 police and 30 soldiers.
Buon Cam village, district Krong Ana, has stationed 20 police and 30 soldiers.
Buon Ea Tieu village district Krong Ana, has stationed 20 police.
Buon Drec village, district Buon Don, has stationed 30 police.
Buon Cuor Knia village, district Buon Don, has stationed 20 police & 30 soldiers.
Buon Emap village, district Cu Mgar, has stationed 30 police.
Buon Cuor Hdang village, district Cu Mgar, has stationed 30 police & 30 soldiers.
Buon Ea Khit village, district Krong Ana, has stationed 20 police.
Buon Cu Mblim village, district Krong Ana, has stationed 20 police.
Buon Tong Ju village, district Krong Ana, has stationed 20 police.
Buon Sup village, district Ea Sup, has stationed 30 police.
Buon Don village, district Buon Don, has stationed 30 police.

HOUSE CHURCH CHRISTIAN ABDUCTED, MURDERED & HANGED

On October 22, 2006 at around 8pm a Montagnard Christian named Moi went to the latrine outside of his village. He failed to return. The entire village searched for him but could not find him. Later that next morning two Vietnamese police named Can and Thai, came to the village and told the villagers Moi was dead and hanging from a tree about 1km from the village. The whole village rushed to where the police said his body was and found Moi hanging on a tree tied up with Vietnamese military issue shoestrings. Moi’s skull was cracked, both arms broken and his body was covered in bruises and cutmarks. People from his village reported that Vietnamese officials had long hated Moi because he was a Christian who refused to join the official church.

ARRESTED BY POLICE: WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN:

On October 15, 2006 police from Dak Mil district, Dak Nong province arrested three of our Christian Brothers from their village of Buon Jun Yuh because they are Christians who refused to join the government church. Their current whereabouts and state of health remain unknown. Their names are as follows:

Y-Tai, age 27 from Buon Jun Yuh village, commune Duc Minh, district Dak Mil, province Dak Nong.
Y- Huyen, age 28 from Buon Jun Yuh village, commune Duc Minh, district Dak Mil, province Dak Nong.
Y-Nhat, age 23 from Buon Jun Yuh village, commune Duc Minh, district Dak Mil, province Dak Nong.

ARRESTED BY POLICE: WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN:

On October 13, 2006 police from Dak Mil district, Dak Nong province arrested two of our Christian Brothers from Buon Jun Yuh village because they refused to join the government church. Their whereabouts and state of health remain unknown. Their names are as follows:

Chuan, age 26 from Buon Jun Yuh village, commune Duc Minh, district Dak Mil, province Dak Nong.
Y- Ntun, age 24 from Buon Jun Yuh village, commune Duc Minh, district Dak Mil, province Dak Nong.

TORTURED BY POLICE NAMED NGUYEN VAN THANG AND LAM

On October 9, 2006 two Vietnamese police, named Nguyen Van Thang, Duc and Lam arrested our Christian Brother named Y-Leng Ya while he was riding his tractor to join his relatives for rice harvest at his farm. The police tortured him by beating him with their fists and kicking him until he passed out. Witnesses said blood was coming out of his mouth, nose, ears and the police threw him on their jeep and took him to the prison in Cu Jut district. The police accused him of wanting to escape to Cambodia. He remains in police custody and the condition of his health remains unknown.

ARRESTED BY POLICE: WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN:

On September 30, 2006 the police from Dak Mil district, Dak Nong province arrested Montagnard Christian Brother from his village of Buon Dak Mler because he is a Christian who refused to join the government church. His whereabouts and state of his health, remains unknown. His name is as follows.

Ngram, age 46 from Buon Dak Mler village, Duc Minh commune, Dak Mil district. Dak Nong province.

THE MONTAGNARD FOUNDATION CALLS ON THE US PRESIDENT, THE US STATE DEPARTMENT AND ALL THE PARTICPANTS OF APEC:

Ø To urgently raise the ongoing human rights violations of the Montagnard People with the Vietnamese government in order to create a permanent solution to this issue.

Ø To urgently demand the Vietnam government releases all the 350 Degar Prisoners identified in the Human Rights Watch report of 14 June 2006. http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/06/14/vietna13542.htm

Ø To urgently demand that Vietnam permits a permanent humanitarian presence in the Central Highlands by US, UN and international NGOs.