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​Vietnamese woman burns self to protest house demolition

Thursday, April 19, 2018, 10:46 GMT+7

A local woman set herself on fire when local authorities were forcibly pulling down her house, which was illegally constructed on a plot of public land in south-central Vietnam, on Wednesday.

D.T.L., residing in Quy Nhon, the capital of Binh Dinh Province, doused herself with petrol to protest against the authorities’ attempt to demolish her makeshift building in the morning.

The woman was hospitalized after police and locals managed to extinguish the flames.

She suffered from first-degree burns, meaning only the outermost skin layer was affected, with redness in the chest and the skin from the elbow to the wrist of her left arm damaged, according to Tra Van Trinh, director of the local hospital.

The patient was discharged on the same day.

L. and local authorities have been split on the compensation for the seizure of her land a decade ago, according to her relatives.

The woman and her large family had to relocate when local authorities decided to revoke their land plot.

While the family had expected to be compensated with another piece of land, they eventually received only a small amount of money, according to their account.

L. has repeatedly filed complaints about the case over the past ten years but received no satisfactory settlements, prompting her to appropriate a small piece of land to build a temporary house.

From a regulator's perspective, Tran Viet Quang, a local official, underlined that L. was only eligible for financial recompense over her revoked land plot.

As L. already had a permanent house, authorities decided to not give her another piece of land despite her repeated complaints, Quang said without elaboration.

In 2015 she was fined for unlawfully using public land for the makeshift house.

Local authorities at that time tried to pull down the house, but the efforts went in vain due to violent opposition from her family.

As the demolition attempt was restarted on Wednesday, L. did not resort to violence but set herself on fire.

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Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News

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