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Degar Christian Brutally Tortured and Murdered on 17 March 2008 by the Vietnamese Government

ICC Note:

The Montagnard Foundation issued the following press release reporting that a Degar Christian, Rahlan Hen, was abducted from his home in Ploi Beng village, tortured and murdered by the Vietnamese Government this month. He had apparently refused to join the church of Siu Kim, a government sanctioned church suspected of teaching congregations to worship the government rather than God.

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3/25/08 Vietnam (MontagnardFoundation) On June 14, 2006, the Vietnamese government sent security police along with riot police to his house and arrested him. They handcuffed him and began to beat and kick him severely. They dragged him from his house, stomping on him with their heavy military boots until he lost consciousness, and then threw his body in their jeep and took him to the district of Ia Grai prison. At this prison facility, the security police repeatedly beat and tortured him; they kicked, punched, stomped on and shocked him with electric rods.

Rahlan Hen was sentenced to prison for 6 years and was then transferred to the T-20 facility in Pleiku. He was later transferred to another prison facility in the province of Phu Yen. This is one of the deceitful practices of the Vietnamese government. They will transfer certain prisoners frequently, beating and torturing them with each move, keeping them away from their families and causing them fatal injuries so that the government can more easily fool the international community. The government will deny murdering the Degar victim, and will claim that the person simply died in prison.

When his wife went to see him at the Phu Yen province prison, one of his legs was paralyzed and he could barely walk. She was overcome with sorrow, but could do nothing to help him. All she could offer him was her tears.

On March 17, 2008, the security police from the province of Phu Yen summoned her because Rahlan Hen was sick. But when she arrived, the security police informed her that he was already dead. They took his wife to the burial site and opened the coffin so that she could see her husband’s face for the last time. Rahlan Hen’s wife then begged the security police to allow her to take her husband’s corpse back home so that his relatives could also see his face for the last time. This practice is an important part of the Degar culture, but the security police refused. They told her “he has been sentenced to 6 years in prison so you can come back and pick up his bones in three more years after he had finished his prison term.”

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