Upon seeing a protester taken away in a car outside the police station

© 2016 Private

This was not the first time Do Duc Hop was attacked. On May 8, 2016, he was assaulted outside the police station of Ben Nghe ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. That morning agents in civilian clothing blocked his house to prevent him from joining a pro-environment protest during which a number of protesters were detained. In the afternoon, Do Duc Hop went to the police station of Ben Nghe ward to show solidarity with detained fellow activists. Upon seeing a protester taken away in a car outside the police station, he took a couple of photos. About six or seven men in civilian clothing rushed to beat him and dragged him into the police station. In a video clip published by Dan Lam Bao, Do Duc Hop said that he “suffered many punches and kicks.”[65] He said:

They punched and kicked me, on my face and my body; they bent my wrists and hit me directly on my lips. I tried to cover my face but they bent my hands so they could punch me.… Another person kicked me in my ribs.[66]

Do Duc Hop was released later the same evening. He suffered many bruises. On May 1, 2016, men in civilian clothes detained and beat Do Duc Hop, his fellow activist Duong Thi Tan, former political prisoners Huynh Anh Tu and Pham Thanh Nghien, to prevent them from participating in a pro-environment protest.

Do Duc Hop after being attacked in Ho Chi Minh City on May 8, 2016.© 2016 PrivateAttack on Mai Thi Dung, June 22, 2016

On the morning of June 22, 2016, police prevented former political prisoner Mai Thi Dung from attending the anniversary of the founding of Hoa Hao Buddhism at Quang Minh Tu, an independent Hoa Hao Buddhist pagoda in Cho Moi district, An Giang province. According to Mai Thi Dung’s husband Vo Van Buu, also a former political prisoner, Mai Thi Dung and their daughter Vo Thi Tuyet Linh left their house in Cho Moi district for Quang Minh Tu pagoda, but dozens of men stopped them on their way and forced them to turn back to their house.[67]“Four or five persons surrounded and beat my wife. Her lips are swollen. They also used helmets to hit her from behind.”[68]

Mai Thi Dung is a Hoa Hao Buddhist activist who has joined many protests against the repression of religious groups that are not approved by the government. During the crackdown on independent Hoa Hao Buddhist groups in 2005, the government convicted her of disrupting public order under article 245 of the penal code and sentenced her to five years in prison. In 2007, while she was in prison, the People’s Court of Vinh Long tried her for involvement in a protest by independent Hoa Hao Buddhist groups in 2001 and sentenced her to an additional six years in prison, again for violating article 245. In April 2015, under international and domestic pressure, she was released. Her husband Vo Van Buu was also arrested in 2005 and sentenced to seven years in prison. He completed his prison term in August 2012. Both husband and wife are under constant police surveillance.

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