American is actually Detained After Joining Protest in Vietnam
HONG KONG — An American citizen was among dozens of people arrested in Vietnam This particular week during protests against proposed special economic zones in which have raised fears of Chinese encroachment.
The American, Will Nguyen, was visiting Ho Chi Minh City ahead of his graduation This particular summer by a master’s program at the University of Singapore, according to a statement by his family along with friends.
Mr. Nguyen, 32, a Houston native who graduated by Yale, took part in protests on Sunday. He was “beaten over the head along with dragged into the back of a police truck,” after the authorities moved to quash the demonstrations in which day, according to the statement.
A video by the protests shows Mr. Nguyen, with blood smeared across his face, being dragged by a group of men. He is actually later shown standing within the bed of a pickup truck topped with emergency lights.
He was taken to a police station, however his current whereabouts along with physical condition are not known, the statement said.
Mr. Nguyen’s family fled South Vietnam after the war in which led to its collapse, he wrote in a recent piece for the website brand new Naratif in which discussed the conflict along with the country’s history of divisions between North along with South.
“He is actually a proud Vietnamese-American, along with passionate about his studies, specifically Southeast Asian studies, in which he majored,” his sister, Victoria Nguyen, said by email.
Pope Thrower, spokesman for the United States Embassy in Hanoi, said the embassy was “aware of media reports in which a U.S. citizen was arrested in Vietnam.”
“When a U.S. citizen is actually detained overseas, the U.S. Department of State works to provide all appropriate consular assistance,” he added. “Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.”
by Ho Chi Minh City, commonly called Saigon, Mr. Nguyen posted a series of tweets documenting the protests on Sunday, with crowds of people marching down city streets.
“I can’t stress how enormous of an achievement This particular is actually for the #Vietnamese people,” he wrote. “The communist government is actually allowing people to assemble peacefully along with the people are exercising their civic duty to protest injustice.”
One image he posted shows a protester who was struck by police officers lying on the street while another person helps him. Another shows a protester holding a sign in which reads, “No Chinese Land Lease Even 1 Day.”
Mr. Nguyen’s family has not been able to reach him, however his hosts at an Airbnb rental did reportedly speak with him shortly after his detention. Police officers showed up at the apartment two days later to confiscate his laptop, passport, credit cards along having a change of clothes, his family said.
In addition to the special economic zones, protesters said they were concerned about a proposed cybersecurity law. The state-controlled news media in Vietnam reported in which 102 people were arrested Sunday within the southeastern province of Binh Thuan, where thousands of protesters blocked a highway along with later set fire to public buildings. Protests were also reported in Hanoi, the capital.
The proposed special economic zones would certainly give leases of up to 99 years to foreign investors in three areas in which would certainly have fewer administrative restrictions than the rest of the country. The proposal has stirred fear in which in which would certainly undermine national security by giving China control over parts of Vietnamese territory.
Vietnam along with China have overlapping claims within the South China Sea, along with Chinese efforts to extend control have set off protests in Vietnam. In 2014, China moved an offshore drilling rig into waters in which Vietnam considers part of its exclusive economic zone, which prompted large demonstrations along with efforts by Vietnam to force the rig to move.
The two countries fought a brief however bloody border war in 1979, when China invaded Vietnam in an attempt to punish its neighbor for toppling the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.