Senior officials at the ‘Voice of Vietnam’ radio network on May 9 confirmed that so far the network had not received any further reports from the northern province of Hung Yen about two of their reporters being beaten by men dressed in police uniforms.
However, on May 8, the Hung Yen Public Security Department confirmed receiving a request from Voice of Vietnam radio asking the police to investigate into an assault on two of their reporters.
Late in April, the radio network had sent two reporters, Nguyen Ngoc Nam, 42, head of the News Section, and staff reporter Han Phi Long, 33, to report on a protest rally against a land eviction case in Hung Yen Province.
On April 24, during the protest rally by local residents against a land acquisition case, a video posted on YouTube showed some men wearing police uniforms along with other plains clothes men repeatedly beating two men with helmets.
Journalist Nam, one of the two men beaten, told VNExpress that when he and Long were standing near a cultural house near a paddy field to watch the protest rally, some men wearing police uniforms along with a few plain clothes people, kicked and hit them with sticks.
Nam shouted at them, “We’re journalists, don’t beat us,” but the men in police uniforms did not stop and continued to beat him and twist his arms.
Afterwards, Nam was handcuffed and taken to the People’s Procuracy office in the province and had to surrender his cell phone, ID Card, Press Card, Party Membership Card, to the police.
However, by the evening of the same day, both Nam and Long were released and returned to their workplace at Voice of Vietnam radio.
|Journalist Nam (wearing helmet in whiter shirt) is beaten by some men wearing police uniforms with sticks ( photo VOV).|
Nam then lodged a complaint with the director of the Public Security Department in Hung Yen Province, asking for an explanation to the assault on him and his colleague. He also asked for compensation for his health and an apology.
Voice of Vietnam radio immediately sent an official request attached with Nam and Long’s complaint, to the director of the Public Security Department in Hung Yen Province, suggesting he investigate the case.
Meanwhile, Ha Minh Hue, standing vice chairman of the Vietnam Journalists’ Association, told reporters that the association had received the copy of the complaint sent by the radio network to authorities in Hung Yen Province. The association too sent in its plea for action to leaders in the province and the police department to investigate the case.
The Vietnam Journalists’ Association also sent its own representatives to Hung Yen Province, who were promised action by the provincial authorities. “If the two radio reporters’ accusations are true, the province authorities will certainly consider the case.”
Earlier, Bui Huy Thanh, head of the Secretariat of the People’s Committee, did not allow journalists and reporters to be present at the site where the land eviction incident had occurred, to “ensure perfect safety” for all.