Tuesday, July 25 2017

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Criminal liability probe begins in Đồng Tâm land dispute

Update: June, 14/2017 - 10:29
Nguyễn Đức Chung, Chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee, visited the Đồng Tâm Commune and talked with the residents in the Đồng Tâm Commune on April. — Photo vietnamplus.vn

HÀ NỘI — Authorities have begun investigation to determine whether criminal offences were committed in the Đồng Tâm incident where several civil servants and police personnel were held hostage by commune residents last April.

The residents were protesting what they considered was unjustified revoking of 50 acres of land where they’d built homes and lived for many years.

The head of the Hà Nội police department said yesterday that investigators will study and determine whether the violations committed during the incident amounted to ‘illegal apprehension’ of people and ‘destruction of property’ under the existing Penal Code.

Based on the findings, a final decision will be taken on whether to prosecute the accused.

In late March, 38 civil servants and a few policemen were held hostage in a communal house in Hoành Village after several villagers were arrested for their role in the land dispute.

By April 18, 15 hostages had been released and three had managed to escape on their own.

After Nguyễn Đức Chung, Chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee, visited the Đồng Tâm Commune and talked with the residents there, the remaining 19 officials and policemen were also released.

The incident involved a 50 hectare land plot covering three communes of Chương Mỹ District, as well as Đồng Tâm Commune in Mỹ Đức District.

The land was apparently allotted to the Ministry of Defence to build the Miếu Môn airport in the 1980s.

However, lax oversight by local administrations had led to a number of residents of Hoành Village, Đồng Tâm Commune, building houses and farming on the allotted land.

When the Defence Ministry claimed the land for the military-run telecom group, Viettel, to carry out the “AI defence project,” the residents protested the decision and lodged several complaints with local authorities who failed to respond. — VNS 

 

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