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Ha Tinh authorities prosecute violators at anti-China protest
  • By Van Dung | | May 15, 2014 06:20 PM
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Police in Ha Tinh Province arrested and prosecuted 76 people involved in a violent anti-China protest at the Vung Ang Economic Zone on May 14.

About 40 people in labourers' outfits arrived at the Formosa project site with banners demanding that China withdraw from Vietnamese seas. The group walked along National Highway 1A and gathered more demonstrators before returning to the Formosa project site around noon. When 200 people protested in front of administration quarters, security forces were called in to persuade them to go home. However, several protestors had already clashed with Chinese employees.

The situation escalated as 5,000 Vietnamese scuffled with 1,000 Chinese employees during the afternoon. In the heat of the situation, there were several cases of vandalism, looting and arson.

The situation became stable around midnight, after security forces in Ha Tinh Province arrived to to disperse the crowd. In all, the conflicts resulted in one fatality and 149 injuries.

 An injured worker taken to a local hospital

At a press conference held on May 15, a leader of the police force in Ha Tinh Province said they have decided to prosecute violators in this case. Lieutenant-Colonel Nguyen Thanh Liem, Deputy Director of Ha Tinh's police force said, "We arrested 76 culprits. After an initial investigation, we've classified them into three groups: those who incited others to cause public disorder, those who damaged public property and looters."

 Ha Tinh authorities met on May 15 to talk about the situation. Photo by Vietnamnet

Police in Ha Tinh Province have been deployed in order to protect the employees and property of at risk firms. They are also working with the Formosa Company to assess damages.

Deputy party secretary of Ha Tinh Province, Le Thanh Long, said that, although strong action is needed in response to China's illegal activities, any protests must remain peaceful. Long went on to say that the authorities of Ha Tinh cancelled all meetings in coming next days to focus on this situation and find the best way to provide assistance to Chinese and Vietnamese companies that have been targeted. 

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