Police in Ho Chi Minh City have detained a local man accused of “disrupting security" and taken corrective action against hundreds of others for unruly behaviors during street marches in the southern metropolis on Sunday.
Officers have also launched legal proceedings against the detainee, 57-year-old Truong Huu Loc, the police said on Friday.
Loc was identified as one of the people who live-streamed Sunday’s marches on social media, calling for his followers to take to the streets, according to prosecutors.
Police say Loc was also found to have incited people to conduct disruptive activities during the marches, filmed and posted videos of the violent incidents online to call for a coup.
Loc was charged and served prison terms multiple times in the past for different crimes, according to police records.
There have been complicated developments regarding public security and social order in Ho Chi Minh City, which many “subjects” had taken advantage of to instigate protests and disruptive behaviors, over the past few days, according to the police.
On Sunday, thousands took to the streets in Ho Chi Minh City and other parts of the country for marches to raise their opinion on a controversial draft law that was intended to allow foreign investors to lease land for up to 99 years in Vietnam’s planned special economic zones.
|Vehicles are stuck in traffic congestion in Ho Chi Minh City as people take to the streets on June 10, 2018 to object land policies in Vietnam’s planned special economic zones. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The zones – Phu Quoc, Van Don, and Bac Van Phong – are to be located in Kien Giang, Quang Ninh, and Khanh Hoa Provinces in the southern, northern and south-central parts of Vietnam, respectively.
The long lease period was one of many unique incentives the Vietnamese government wanted to offer to attract foreign investment into the areas, despite concerns that it would pose a serious threat to national security.
Ho Chi Minh City police and lower-level law enforcement units said they had handled a total of 310 people who broke the law while joining the marches.
As of Friday, seven of these people remained in detention, 175 were given administrative penalties, one was hospitalized for compulsory medical treatment, and 38 others were bailed out by their families.
Police say initial investigation shows some of the violators have links to terrorist groups based in foreign countries, which provided them with money and other tools for disrupting the political and public security in Vietnam.
Mounting public pressure prompted the lawmaking National Assembly to delay consideration of the draft law on special economic zones, while the government has pledged to scrap the 99-year lease period from an updated version of the bill and re-submit it for approval in October.