VN authorities beat and torment Montagnard men during interrogations because of their religious activities and beliefs
December 2010: VN authorities beat and torment Montagnard men during interrogations because of their religious activities and beliefs
On December 1, 2010, three Montagnard men from the village of Bon Croh Ponan (whose names are below) reported to the local police station in Croh Ponan commune because they had each received a letter of summons requesting their presence. The men left their village and arrived at the station at approximately 8:00am. They were taken into separate rooms for questioning. The following paragraphs recount their interrogation sessions.
- Beo Nay,born 1978 is from the village of Bon Croh Ponan, commune of Bon Croh Ponan, district of Phu Thien in Gia Lai province.
- Phor Ksor,born 1965 is from the village of Bon Croh Ponan, commune of Bon Croh Ponan, district of Phu Thien in Gia Lai province.
- Rin Ksor,born 1988 is from the village of Bon Croh Ponan, commune of Bon Croh Ponan, district of Phu Thien in Gia Lai province.
I – The police officer named Thinh (an ethnic Vietnamese) stated to Beo Nay “You have been persuading people to join the Degar Church and communicating with people in the U.S to disrupt our government.” Beo Nay replied “I do worship in a Degar house-church but I have not communicated with anyone in the U.S as you have said. We Degars worship God. We have not done anything to cause trouble against the Government.” As Beo Nay was still speaking, the police officer Thinh attacked Beo Nay. He punched Beo Nay on the side of his head three times and then forming his hands in a karate-chop style, struck him in the face twice and then in his right ear. After that, the police officer used a rubber stick approximately two feet in length and begun beating Beo Nay. He struck Beo Nay in his neck three times then repeatedly striking his back – at least eight times. The security police further tormented Beo Nay by waving a lit match to his face and burning off the tips of his beard. They told Beo Nay “From today forward, you will not worship in public, you are not allowed to travel to different villages, and you cannot celebrate Christmas.” Beo Nay was presented with a paper and was directed to sign his name in the agreement. They threatened that if he did not cooperate, they would put him in jail for ten years. Beo Nay was beaten and seriously fatigued and was not able to sign the statement so a member of the security police guided his hand and wrote his signature on the paper. Beo Nay was not released until approximately 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon. At his home, Beo Nay became bedridden for five days. He had multiple contusions, bruises and other injuries. He complained of continuing pain as a result of the beatings.
II-Security police questioned Phor Ksor using similar techniques. The police officer whose name is Tuan, (an ethnic Vietnamese), warned “The Hanoi government does not allow for any open public worship service. We know you have been congregating with a large group of people and we forbid you from doing that again.” Phor Ksor said “I will not abandon my faith. When we congregate for service, we are not committing any crime.” Tuan became upset and used a rubber stick that was two feet in length and started beating Phor Ksor. He struck Phor on his back at least eight times. The police officer, Tuan, then used martial arts, with his hands in a karate-chopped form he repeatedly struck Phor’s face hitting his nose four times and his ears with five or more blows. Phor Ksor bled from his nose but Tuan did not stop. Phor Ksor continued to receive more blows all over his body. He was struck in the shoulders four times, in the neck two times, and in the head three times. Then, the Tuan said, “You want to die because you refuse to accept what we tell you.” They threatened that if he continued to conduct worship service in public, he would be sent to prison. They presented a paper for him to sign but Phor did not sign the paper willingly and so the security police signed it for him. They released Phor at 1pm. Phor Ksor remained bedridden for one week as a result of the injuries he sustained from the security police.
III –The police officer, Thinh, questioned Rin Ksor “Why do you call people to have worship service at your home? Do you have plans with them to disrupt the government of Hanoi?” Rin Ksor replied “I do not call them to worship at my house. We worship together because we share the same beliefs. Why do you ask me such questions if we have plans to go against the Government?” Thinh became upset and struck Rin Ksor in his face three times using a karate chop. Then he hit Rin Ksor in his nose twice and his mouth four times. Rin Ksor bled from his mouth and nose. Thinh then used a rubber stick and beat Rin Ksor on his back twelve times. As he was beating Rin Ksor, Thinh was yelling at him, saying, “You need to stop from conducting worship service with other people and you must refrain from celebrating Christmas this year. If you disobey, we will put you in prison for ten years.” Before releasing him, Thinh presented a paper to him stating that he agreed to these terms. Just like Beo Nay and Phor Ksor, Rin Ksor was injured and weakened from the beatings and, therefore, the security police used this to their advantage and they guided his hand to scribble his name on the paper. Rin Ksor was released at 1pm. When he returned home, as a result of his injuries, he was bedridden for six days and had difficulty eating and drinking.
The security police officers were identified as follow:
- Thinh, ethnic Vietnamese, security police from the commune of Bon Crohnan.
- Nay Loi, ethnic Jorai, security police from the commune of Bon Croh Ponan.
- Ksor Kuih, ethnic Jorai, security police from the commune of Bon Croh Ponan.
- Tuan, ethnic Vietnamese, security police from the commune of Bon Croh Ponan