GNsP -On May 28, 2017, at about 10:00 am, Ms. Nguyen Thi Tra, catechist of the parish of Phu Yen wasbeaten and taken away by the social security and thugs in Son Hai Commune, Quynh Luu District, Nghe An Province, Vietnam. At least 40 others were assaulted bloody, robbed phones and humiliated badly. Victims of this violence are not only adults but also elders and children.
Incomplete statistics show that 5 phones were robbed and thrown to the ground for damages; 2 motorcycles were stolen because of being assaulted by the thugs.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Tra toldus whilewalking over a bridge in Village 9, Son Hai Commune, she saw a group of social security and thugs who were beating a Catholic women of Song Ngoc parish. She stopped there and suddenly chased by the group.They hailed curses, tore her clothes, beat her down and took her to the People’s Committee of Son Hai Commune. The social security themselves took her shirt off and touched all her pants to check.
She burst into tears and told us:“I’m panicked fleeing when a bunch of people chased and threw rocks at me. Running exhausted so I dodged into a coffee shop and run into the toilet to stay away from them. They came after me and shouted loud, hit the door, threw stones and glass bottles. One bottle hit my head but I was okay because of the helmet. When the toilet door was cracked, they stormed into and dragged me out, pulled me to the policestation, in which men and women rushed to beat me repeatedly, forced me to take my shirt off to search and take my 3 phones away. Being satisfied with the assaults, they rode me to the Me Trang coffee shop, forced me to open my cell-phone and use it to hail curses on Father J.B Nguyen Dinh Thuc and Father Anton Dang Huu Nam. However, I did not say even a word.”
It’s heard that Ms. Tra was arrested, the Catholics of Phu Yen parish together went to the People’s Committee of Son Hai Commune to ask for letting her free. As they just came to the place, they were attacked by the bunch of police officers, thugs and women. It’s said that there was about 500 people involved in assaulting the Catholics.
These people used iron motifs, stones, sticks, machetes and batons,etc to attack unarmed demonstrators with peaceful mind who went for the arrested woman. According to the residents, regardless of any Catholics,they all were beaten and oppressedsavagely.
Moreover, they insulted and held their accusations of Father Anton Dang Huu Nam and the Catholics by their profanities.
At 12:00 am in the same day, the Catholics returned to their parish to thanks God because “they were persecuted but not collapsed”. About 25 people were beaten severely, some being treated in hospital, many had returned home but carried a lot of bruises and wounds, and their spirits had not calmed down till then.
Nguyen Thi Tra was released with lots of bruises and wounds on her body and still panic caused by many beatings and arrest.
Mrs. Nguyen Thi Danh, one of the Catholics of Phu Yen remembered: “As soon as hearing the arrest, I headed with a group of Catholics to the People’s Committee for Ms. Tra. Upon arriving, we were suddenly attacked by many people. I thought they were the social security with casual wearing and the thugs hired to assault us. One of the girls in our group was beaten severely because she tried to shoot the violence. Sticks, punches and kicks were headed to the girl. I ran into her, hug to protect and bore beatings instead. For a while, they moved to attack Mr. Che who is one of my relatives. His head was hit by a huge rock of a man and non-stop bleeding.”
As seeing the head bleeding, a police officer ran into Che and hugged him. Then he prevented Che from other beatings. However, maybe these people are too bloodthirsty to attack the man regardless of the police’s prevention. I cried at the sight. I was really helpless because I can do nothing further.
Another witness, Ms. Tran Thi Tra said: “I found chaotic in the crowd. All of casual-wearing police officers, thugs and even residents of Son Hai Commune rushed to attack the parishioners crucially. These residents include many ages such as teenagers, grow-ups, even forties and fifties. I myself was a victim of it. I was hit because I shot the scene by my phone. So many people rushed to jerk the phone, beat me and also ripped the shirt I’m wearing. I was trying really hard to get out of that bloodthirsty crowd.”
The police officers directly shielded the evils, gave them a hand and beat their people three days ago. Somehow, their cheatsare effective to provoke the innocents who are madly stuffed by the intended calls of puppet controllers. It raises a doubt thatwhy there were a lot of police officers but no one interrupted or helped to calm down the crowd. They even locked hands of the Catholics and let non-Catholics beat them.
After the innocent was happened, the parish of Phu Yen held the Adoration to pray for Ms. Tra and those who are oppressed, pray for justice, peace, dignity and human rights that will hopefully be enforced in Vietnam.
What happened in that day, not only the parishioners of Phu Yen but the Catholics of other regions in the Diocese of Vinh and those across the country feel indignant at the treatments and actions of the authorities of Quynh Luu District and Son Hai Commune. And people of the parish of Phu Yen will make this clear to the end.
What remain in many people’s mindsare tears and horrific memories: never seen such an evil!