WHO HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR JUSTICE IN VIETNAM, THE POWERFUL GOVERNMENT OR THE POWERLESS INDIGENOUS PEOPLE?
In chapter five of Vietnam’s constitution on the fundamental rights and duties of the citizen, article 72 states that no one shall be regarded as guilty and be subjected to punishment before the sentence of the Court has acquired full legal effectand that any person who has been arrested, held in custody, prosecuted, brought to trial in violation of the law shall be entitled to damages for any material harm suffered and his reputation shall be rehabilitated. Anybody who contravenes the law in arresting, holding in custody, prosecuting, bringing to trial another person thereby causing him damage shall be dealt with severely.
Who does this law apply to? Is this law only valid for the rich and powerful Vietnamese officials and people? What about the poor and powerless indigenous people of Vietnam? Are we not citizens of Vietnam too? Why doesn’t Vietnam allow Montagnards these same rights? Moreover, when the government of Vietnam violates its own rules, what then? Who will punish the Vietnamese government officials who violate this law?
Below is a story about a Degar Christian prisoner who was tortured to death even before he had a trial. The Vietnamese officials clearly violated the law in this cruel and inhuman act. Will they be held accountable?
WHO WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CRUEL AND INHUMAN ACTIONS COMMITED BY THE VIETNAMESE OFFICIALS?
Kpa Kloh was a Christian and a Degar born on June 12, 1966, from the village of Ploi Ring commune of Hbong district of Cu Se in the province of Gialai. On October 12, 2004, he was arrested, tortured and then sent to Phu Yen province prison because 1) he was accused of preaching the Good News about our Lord Jesus Christ and because 2) he was accused of attending or being involved in the Easter prayer vigil in April of 2004. After his arrest, the Vietnamese security police repeatedly tortured him. They beat him, punching him and kicking him with their military boots. They struck him repeatedly with their batons and constantly shocked all over his body. It seems as if Vietnam really intended to kill him because seeing that he has not died as of July 8, 2007, they intensified the torture. They beat him on his head with their police batons until blood came out of his ears, nose and mouth and he fell completely unconscious. They tortured him again on December 10, 2007 and again on February 9, 2008. Brother Kpa Kloh died the next day on February 10, 2008. Kpa Kloh died as a result of the severe and repeated torturing by the Vietnamese security police at the Phu Yen province prison. He leaves behind his wife R’mah H’Ne and six children.
How could most of the world governments who are doing business with Vietnam say that the Vietnamese government has improved its human rights record in the Central Highlands?
We, the indigenous Degar people of the Central Highlands of Vietnam, pray that our Almighty God will touch the eyes of the world so that they can see, touch their ears so that they can hear and their hearts so that they will have compassion for our people. We pray that the world will sympathize with what our people have been enduring at the hands of the merciless Vietnamese government and help to stop it.
In the United States of America, many people are upset when animals are abused. It is a serious crime to harm animals in this country and sometimes people are even sent to prison for cruelty towards animals. We, the indigenous Degar people, are not animals. We are treated far worse. We are human, like everyone else in this world, and we are asking the Vietnamese government to treat us like humans. Is that too much to ask?