Natural resources ministry probes coercive land seizure in Hai Phong

A Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment delegation Tuesday started working with Hai Phong officials to investigate a land revoking case in the northern port city which drove farmers to shoot at six policemen and soldiers early January.

Mr. Le Van Lich, deputy head of the General Department of Land Management, serves as the delegation chief. The delegation deputy head is Mr. Le Quoc Trung, the ministry’s chief inspector.

Deputy Minister Chu Pham Ngoc Hien did not join the mission but said that after the delegation makes a report, the ministry’s leaders would promptly work with Hai Phong authorities.

The mission is to clarify who is responsible for the coercive land seizure in Vinh Quang Commune, Tien Lang District.

According to a report by the Hai Phong administration, the district People's Committee on January 5 mobilized more than 100 policemen to coercively confiscate land belonging to local man Doan Van Vuon. Vuon erected three barriers around the land, set off homemade mines, and opened fire on the police. Six officers were injured during the incident.

On January 10, he and three other members of his family were detained and prosecuted for attempted murder.

The incident has caused a stir among the community.

Lawyer Le Duc Tiet, vice chairman of the Advisory Council on Democracy and Laws of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, a member of the supervision delegation for the case, said Tien Lang residents had told him that the local administration had not worked under law in the case.

He added that many people had said it was an unusual case.

By staff reporters, translated by Tuong Thuy

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