The never-ending adventures of a travel writer in Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Update on the Situation in Quang Ngai

Sadly I must report that the situation in Quang Ngai still continues in the wrong direction. I’ve confirmed that in the days just prior to my latest post about my arrest there, more than one indigenous, Christian villager was tortured by police and sent to the hospital with serious injuries. It appears that they were beaten solely for refusing to give up their religious beliefs. These young victims were taken from the general vicinity where I was arrested, though I am withholding their identities, ethnicity and precise locations for their protection. Indigenous tribes and Christian families in Quang Ngai remain under intense surveillance.
            I have also confirmed that about 1 week ago, in neighbouring Quang Nam Province, police hired a group of approximately 20 thugs to attack church members in Phu Quy village. Several people were seriously injured. Church members called the police emergency hotline during the attack but received no response.
            In related news, The Guardian is reporting that freelance journalist Dustin Roasa was detained and expelled from Vietnam after interviewing pro-democracy activists for a January story and then recently attempting to re-enter Vietnam. The two interviewees have fled the country and are seeking political asylum. Roasa is at least the 3rd foreign journalist to be detained by the communist government and expelled from Vietnam this year over political and human rights issues.