Tags: Vietnam Continues Violence Against Hmong

Vietnam Continues Violence Against Hmong

Friday, 20 May 2011 07:19 AM

The Vietnamese government is quietly continuing a crackdown against the ethnic Hmong, arresting what it is calling “extremists” for inciting violence last week.

Independent sources say approximately 7,000 ethnic Hmong, a Christian minority, were peacefully protesting for religious freedom and autonomy in early May when government forces opened fire on the demonstrators.

Between 28 and 49 people were killed, and several hundred are missing. Many reportedly are in hiding out of fear of reprisals from the government. Although the government has not announced the number of individuals in custody, religious personnel in the region estimate more than 100 arrests.

Until the announcement of the detentions, Vietnam had denied the clash between the government and the Hmong. The government is accusing international groups of attempting to influence the Hmong to call for an independent state and to stage more protests. Hanoi has banned all foreigners, including journalists and diplomats, from the area where the protest took place.

There is long-standing distrust and tension between the Vietnamese government and its ethnic minorities. The government has shown no interest in negotiating with the minorities, preferring to use brutality to quash unrest and discourage future moves for autonomy and equality.

International calls for freedom for Vietnamese minorities carry no weight with the government, and often resulting in accusations of foreign collusion and further oppression.

Hmong and other Vietnamese hill tribe minorities are treated more harshly and face discrimination and poverty by the government because they fought with the United States during the Vietnam War.

Lisa M. Ruth is a former CIA analyst and officer. She is currently Managing Partner of C2 Research, a boutique research and analysis firm in West Palm Beach, Florida and is Vice President at CTC International Group, Inc., a private intelligence firm.

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Vietnam Continues Violence Against Hmong
Friday, 20 May 2011 07:19 AM
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