On May 4, 2010, hundreds of police officers assaulted the funeral procession for a 93 year old deceased woman whose last wish was to be buried next to her late husband in the Christian cemetery. Over a hundred mourners were brutally beaten, including women, children and the elderly. A 23-year old pregnant woman suffered miscarriage after being severely beaten by the police. The police beat to death a 43-year old parishioner identified as one of the Christian leaders.
ICC has been assisting the wives and families of imprisoned Christians and wanted to bring to you their stories:
From the wife of imprisoned Christian: I attended the funeral … I followed the coffin for a while on the way to the cemetery. Suddenly, the policemen arrested me and beat me up; they took me to the police station at Cam Le. During the interrogation, I said I just attended the funeral mass, this was something I always did whenever someone passed away, I would say farewell to them at the cemetery. They did not believe me; they slapped my face and beat me ferociously. After that they locked me up, and gave me a 9 months sentence. Now I am allowed to return to my family, my mental health is very low. My health is very poor, all my land had been confiscated by the government, and I don’t know how to survive. I wanted to open a small convenient shop at my house, but I have no money.
Imprisoned Christian: Our financial condition became very difficult, because we have three children in schools, and we have to pay for the lawyer’s fee. Thanks to the supports of ICC, my family have some money to earn a living. We will start a chicken or pig farm in order to raise our children and send them to schools.
Christian Victim: The physical and mental pain suffered since May 4, 2010 are still being felt deep in my heart. Thanks to your consolation and supports my family is feeling much better. My body and my mind are still painful from the beating and from being held in the dark cell. I am now suffering from a heart failure, and need medical care.. … my children need to be in schools, and my life is not stable. My family worries very much about our future. We do not have land to cultivate.
From released victim: The government of Danang did not act according to justice and the truth. They gave everyone of us an unjust sentence, in order for them to clear out the land belonging to the people of Con Dau Parish. While in prison I and my friends were tortured and beaten. After the lower court hearing I was allowed to return to my family. Now I am fearful for my unknown future. The policemen continue to follow and watch me. Since I was freed, my body is very achy. I lost my memory. When I bend over, I feel dizzy because they hit my behind my neck and on my shoulders many times.
Wife of martyr: I write this letter to thank you for helping my family during the past few months. My husband died under the hand of police torturing last year in the crackdown at Con Dau parish. I don’t have any land left. I am often sick. My children have no stable jobs, the small children are still in schools. I have no income. During this difficult time, thanks to your generosity we could survive.
Christian family member: In the actual situation of the parishioners at Con Dau, life is very difficult, moral is very low, all our land had been confiscated by the government for a tourist center or to be sold to rich people. Our parishioners were forced to move out of our home land. So many generations had shed tears, and blood to build a parish with great traditions. Now, rice fields are being filled up, houses are being destroyed, and graves are being dug up. Some new graves with rotten bodies smelled so bad when up turned. People who live nearby had to move away. I cannot express everything in my own words.
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