Degar Montagnard Christians Arrested and Tortured For Saying They Dont Want Independence
5/15/07 Vietnam (Montagnard Foundation) For years the communist authorities have been arresting and torturing Degar Montagnards for being house Church Christians while simultaneously accusing them of seeking independence and being separatists. Now, four Degar Montagnard people inside the Central Highlands have been arrested and tortured for making sure their people understand exactly what the difference between indigenous land rights and separatism mean. The following four Degar Christians were collecting names of Degar people who agreed that the Degar people do not seek to overthrow the Vietnamese government nor do they seek an independent state. Thus is seems clear that whether they agree with the government or disagree with the government the communist authorities still find any excuse to persecute the Degar people while also lying to the international community about human rights progress in Vietnam.
On May 5, 2007 at approximately 12 midnight, Vietnamese security police arrested and imprisoned four of our Christian brothers. The reason is because they were suspected of collecting names of believers who want to sign a statement saying the Degar Church and Degar people do not seek independence. The security police imprisoned four of our Christian brothers at the prison in Cu Mgar district, Daklak province and severely tortured them. The torturers used martial arts on them after hanging them upside down and then beat them with their fists, kicked them with their feet and electric shocked them until they became unconscious. The security police then pulled them down and poured water on them. When the victims awoke the police repeated the torture over many times. The names of the four victims are:
Y-Kim Kbuor, (born 1977) from the village of Buon Poc , commune of Ea Poc, district of Cu Mgar, province of Daklak . He was arrested and tortured on May 5, 2007.
Y-Wan Nie, (born 1972) from the village of Buon Poc , commune of Ea Poc, district of Cu Mgar, province of Daklak . He was arrested and tortured on May 5, 2007.
Y-Bhuat Eban, (born 1975) from the village of Buon Emap , commune of Ea Poc, district of Cu Mgar, province of Daklak . He was arrested and tortured on May 5, 2007.
Y-Thil Eban, (born 1978) from the village of Buon Poc , commune of Ea Poc, district of Cu Mgar, province of Daklak . He was arrested and tortured on May 5, 2007.
THE FOLLOWING BELOW IS THE STATEMENT THAT OUR CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS WANTED TO SIGN:
Degar Montagnard Statement Concerning the
Christian House Church Religion in Vietnam s Central Highlands
We the undersigned Degar Montagnard Christian pastors, Christian laymen and village representatives of Vietnam s Central Highlands agree to the following:
The Degar Montagnard House Church members believe in one God and one Savior Jesus Christ – as described in the Holy Bible.
The Degar Montagnard House Church members believe we are a religious denomination only who want to practice Christianity without government control or interference.
The Degar Montagnard House Church members do not believe in separatism or want to overthrow the Vietnamese government.
The Degar Montagnard House Church members believe in non-violence and that all citizens both Degar and Kinh in Vietnam are equal in the eyes of the lord.
The Degar Montagnard House Church members recognize that calls for land rights and an end to discrimination in Vietnam is not part of our religious beliefs but that these are different activities relating to human rights.
The Degar Montagnard House Church members do not want to join another Christian denomination by force such as the Evangelical Church of Vietnam.
The Degar Montagnard House Church members do not want the government to force us to have political figures such as Ho Chi Minh being portrayed or worshipped in our Churches but we do respect him because he is the leader of the Vietnamese people.
The Degar Montagnard House Church members believe they have the right to conduct Christian services, prayers and to sing hymns in our own languages and do not want to be forced to pray or sing or preach in Vietnamese language.
The Degar Montagnard House Church members request that the United States , the European Union, the United Nations, the international community and Christian groups around the world ask the Vietnamese government to recognize our right to have our own religious denomination according to principals of true religious freedom.