Security guards at a major market in southern Vietnam prevented reporters of state television VTV from working there on Thursday, accusing them of failing to secure an entry clearance from the market’s management.
The two reporters from state-run television VTV9 in Can Tho – the largest and most modern city in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta – said that in the morning they were filming an elderly lottery ticket saleswoman going to the parking lot of at the An Binh Market, the city’s tourist icon and magnet.
But security guards there hindered their job and threatened to hit them, citing that the crew did not ask for permission from the market’s management in advance.
Tension rose as the guards shoved the camera and hurled insults after the reporters claimed they were filming in a public place outside the market, according to the television crew’s account.
Only when members of the public intervened and the reporters moved further away from the market did the guards leave, the reporters recounted.
Locals said the guards have been well known for being very aggressive and willing to argue with sellers and purchasers here.
Tran Ngoc Thang, director of a private entity that runs the market, supposed the reporters were wrong.
“It must be clearly made that filming and picturing is not banned in our market’s area. We’ve so far received a number of journalists doing these things here.”
But, Thang said, reporters must tell the management beforehand so that arrangements can be made, because “you must seek permission from the owner if you want to enter a house.”
Thang underlined that contrary to the conception of the television journalists above, the parking lot belonged to the market premises, which his company leased from the government for investment.
“The security guards did the right job. And the argument took place because one of those reporters provoked them.”
|A woman (foreground) sells lottery tickets near the An Binh Market building in Can Tho City, Vietnam, in a screenshot|
But a representative from VTV9 said the guards’ action was illegal since filming and picturing at public places are not prohibited in current Vietnam law and the market did not erect any ‘no camera’ signs.
Police in Can Tho reconciled the two sides, saying the incident stemmed from misunderstanding and did not amount to physical fighting.