Viet Nam: Authorities must investigate torture allegations following mass arrests

8 June 2018, 16:30 UTC

Viet Nam’s authorities must immediately and unconditionally release protesters detained in a wave of arrests at the weekend and launch a prompt, thorough and effective investigation into allegations some of them were tortured, said Amnesty International.

Across the country, around 150 people who took part in protests on 9 and 10 June against a proposed law on special economic zones were arbitrarily detained. Amnesty International has received reports from dozens of those arrested that they were tortured while in custody, with some claiming they were beaten with wooden sticks after refusing to disclose their mobile phone pin numbers to police.

“These reports of protestors being tortured are deeply disturbing. We urge the Vietnamese authorities to launch a prompt, thorough and effective investigation into the claims and to hold anyone suspected of being responsible to account,” said Minar Pimple, Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Global Operations.

“The wave of mass arrests over the weekend was nothing more than retribution against people who had simply expressed their concern about a government policy. 

“Viet Nam’s authorities cannot hide behind the excuse of maintaining public order as a license to persecute and lock up peaceful protestors. Those detained have been denied their rights to liberty, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and due legal process and must be immediately and unconditionally released.”


Protests took place across Viet Nam over the weekend of 9-10 June against a proposed law that would see designated economic zones established within the country offering special incentives for foreign investors. Protests also took place that weekend against a repressive new cybersecurity law which was subsequently passed by Viet Nam’s National Assembly on 12 June.