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VIETNAMESE AUTHORITIES SENDS TORTURED DEGAR MONTAGNARDS HOME:

PROMISES TO RE-IMPRISON THEM IF THEY RECOVER FROM THEIR INJURIES

3/4/07 Vietnam (Montagnard Foundaiton) HUNG UPSIDE DOWN AND ELECTRIC SHOCKED TORTURED: Y-M’Pi born 1958 from the village of Bon Sar Pa, commune Thuan An, district Dak Song, Dak Nong province was arrested on May 16, 2004 by Vietnamese police and tortured severely in Ha Nam prison. He was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment on March 30, 2005. The reason for his arrest and torture was that he was a house church Christian who refused to join the government recognized Church and for his support of the Montagnard Foundation. In the prison, the security police tied him up and hung him upside down and tortured him by beating him with batons and their fists, kicking him with their military boots, and shocking him with electricity until blood came out of his mouth, eyes, and ears. He often became unconscious and endured these tortures on numerous occasions throughout his imprisonment.

11 PRISONERS TORTURED – ONE DIES FROM BEATING: Y-Mpi recalls one day in the prison in Ha Nam when Vietnamese security police took him and other 11 Degar prisoners from different cells to one room for torture sessions. The torturers appeared to have no motive for the abuse other than to practice martial arts with live humans. One by one the 11 prisoners were punched with fists and kicked at various points on the prisoner’s bodies. One of Degar prisoners whose name is unknown died in front of Y-Mpi due to the beating he received. Y-Mpi himself was also seriously injured from the beating.

ON THE VERGE OF DEATH: THREATENED WITH IMPRISONMENT IF HE RECOVERS: After weeks in the prison, Y-M’Pi’s health deteriorated and he was close to death so the prison authorities sent him to the hospital in Kien Giang province on May 28, 2006. The government informed Y-Mpi’s wife that she could visit her husband there and she rushed to the hospital and found a broken battered man who was on the verge of death, sick, with swollen face and covered in bruises. The doctor also refused to treat him because he was a Degar Montagnard and he was released to his village. The government officials however, threatened his wife stating if her husband survives he will then be arrested again in order to finish his prison term. On June 28, 2006 Y-Mpi’s wife took him home and sold everything she had in order to buy medicine for her husband. To this day Y-Mpi has not recovered from his injuries and is reportedly on the verge of death.

THE STORY OF KPUIH NON

TORTURED: HANGED UPSIDE DOWN: A Degar man named Kpuih Non age 49 from the village of Ploi Dung, commune Ia Hru, district Cu Se province Gialai was arrested, tortured and sentenced to three years imprisonment in Phu Yen province on October 29, 2004. In the prison, the security police tortured him in the same manner as Y-Mpi above, hanging him upside down and striking him with batons, fists, kicking him with their military boots, and shocking him with electricity until blood came out of his mouth, eyes, and ears. He also endured this treatment numerous times whilst in custody.

AUTHORITIES THREATEN TO RE-ARREST HIM IF HE RECOVERS: Due to his injuries Kpuih Non came close to death and the Vietnamese authorities released him on October 28, 2005 before the completion of his prison term. The government officials however threatened his family that Kpuih Non will be arrested again and sent back to finish his prison term if he recovers.

The Montagnard Foundation states that the Degar people have not committed violent or serious crimes and the Vietnamese government is trying to repress our people as revenge for our historical support of the US Armed Forces during the Vietnam War as well as carrying out land confiscation and economic exploitation virtually amounting to genocide. Currently the Vietnamese government has plans which will result in the severe marginalization and possible extermination of the indigenous Degar people by creating a new economic zone on the Cambodian, Lao and Vietnam border Triangle region (CLV Triangle). This project will target the area in the provinces of Rattanakiri, Mondulkiri and Stung Treng (in Cambodia), Attapeu, Sekong and Saravan (in Laos) and Gialai, Kontum, Daklak and Daknong (in Central Highlands of Vietnam) and has been reported in sources as “News From Cambodia N 0661-E” Dec. 18, 2006.

THE MONTAGNARD FOUNDATION CALLS ON:

Ø Concerned Embassies and the international community to urgently get medical attention to these prisoners and pressure Vietnam to cease the practice of torture.

Ø Concerned Embassies and the international community to pursue a permanent humanitarian presence in the Central Highlands by US, UN and international NGOs.

Ø Concerned Embassies and the international community to urgently demand Vietnam release all 350 Degar Prisoners identified in the Human Rights Watch report of 14 June 2006. See: http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/06/14/vietna13542.htm

Ø The International Community, namely Japan , the European Union, the United States and international banking organizations, not to finance the CLV triangle project because it will not only destroy the environment of the region but also exploit and destroy the indigenous peoples who historically reside throughout this region.