May 8, 2013

Bloggers and netizens who took part in “picnics to discuss human rights” in public places in several Vietnamese cities on 5 May were violently attacked by police and many were briefly detained.

“We firmly condemn this deliberate police violence against news providers and we are very disturbed to see that such unacceptable violence seems to be the automatic and systematic response from the authorities to any attempt to use freedom of expression,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“The authorities should take firm and exemplary disciplinary measures against the police officers responsible for this violence.”

Organized via Facebook, the picnics were due to take place in Saigon, Hanoi, Nha Trang and other cities. In Nha Trang, the public security department quickly blocked access to the designated venue in a park. Barbed wire was deployed around the park and the police hit participants with sticks and steel bars.

The police were present in large numbers in Hanoi but did not prevent the participants from gathering beside Lake Hoan Kiem, in the city centre.

Read more: http://en.rsf.org/vietnam-police-use-violence-against-08-05-2013,44586.html?dolist=ok/vietnam-police-use-violence-against-08-05-2013,44586.html