Concern Over Life of Christian Degar Woman Imprisoned for Preaching Christianity
The Montagnard Foundation is asking that an appeal they made in September for the life of a Degar woman who was imprisoned in April and has been denied any kind of visitation be brought to the forefront again. No action has been taken for more than six months and the woman’s family fears she may already have been killed.
11/25/08 Vietnam (MontagnardFoundation) On Wednesday April 9, 2008, at approximately 6:30 pm, four Vietnamese security police came to the house of our Christian sister, Puih H’Bat, in the village of Ploi Bang, Ia Chia commune, Ia Grai district, Gialai province while she was leading 20 Christian believers in prayer services. The security police demanded that these Christians sign a document agreeing to join the Hoi Thanh Tin Lanh Vietnam (The Evangelical Church of Vietnam), which is the government sanctioned church. The police said if they refused to sign the document, that they would be arrested, tortured and imprisoned. All Christian believers at the home of Puih H’Bat, however, refused to sign the document.
On April 11, 2008, at approximately 4 am in the morning, 8 Vietnamese security police stormed into the house of our Christian sister, Puih H’Bat, and arrested her, put her in a truck and took her to Ia Grai district prison. The same night, the police also arrested two other Christian brothers, Ksor Sim and Rahlan Don. During the arrest of Ksor Sim, security police sprayed a chemical repellant inside his house forcing his family outside, whereupon they shocked him with electric batons until he collapsed unconscious. His wife and 16 year-old daughter ran to see if he was alive or dead, and the police then beat and shocked them with electrical batons until they also collapsed unconscious. Ksor Sim and Rahlan Don have been released from prison because they had agreed to sign a document to follow the government sanctioned church.
SIX MONTHS LATER, THE AUTHORITIES REFUSE TO ALLOW PUIH HBAT’S FAMILY TO VISIT HER IN PRISON: IT IS GREATLY FEARED SHE HAS ALREADY BEEN KILLED OR SUFFERS FROM SERIOUS WOUNDS AS A RESULT OF BEING TORTURED AND WE FEAR THE AUTHORITIES ARE DELIBERETLY TRYING TO CONCEAL HER MURDER. THE FAMILY FEARS FOR THE WORST AND DESPITE SEVERAL APPEALS BY VILLAGERS TO THE AUTHORITIES TO RELEASE HER, THE AUTHORITIES HAVE MAINTAINED A BLACKOUT OF INFORMATION AND REFUSE TO ALLOW ANYONE TO KNOW ABOUT HER CONDITION OR WELFARE. THE MONTAGNARD FOUNDATION URGENTLY CALLS ON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, EMBASSIES, RED CROSS, UN, EU, USA AND CONCERNED NGOS TO:
Please pressure the Vietnamese government to disclose the condition of Puih H’Bat and let her family know if she is alive or dead.
Please pressure the Vietnamese government to provide medical care for her and get her immediately released from prison so she may care for her children.
We the indigenous Degar people want to ask “Why is it that 143 countries including Vietnam have adopted the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and yet the government of Vietnam continues to get away with brutally persecuting our race of people?”