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750 people to be indicted for riots in Vietnam’s Binh Duong Province

Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 17:29 GMT+7
750 people to be indicted for riots in Vietnam’s Binh Duong Province
Workers march peacefully in the southern province of Binh Duong against China putting an illegal oil rig in Vietnamese waters since May 1, 2014. Picture taken May 12, 2014.

Police in the southern province of Binh Duong said they will indict 750 people for inciting and causing riots in several industrial parks in the locality last week, inflicting serious damage on hundreds of companies including foreign-invested enterprises.

>> Vietnam police arrest 16 more in Ha Tinh riot>> Over 1,000 arrested in Vietnam riots that left one dead >> Thousands of workers rally to protest China’s oil rig in Vietnamese waters >> Vietnam fishermen resolve to continue fishing near illegal Chinese oil rig This information was released by Colonel Hoang Thao, deputy director of the provincial Police Department, at a press conference held in Binh Duong on Monday. These people are out of the more than 1,000 people who were arrested during the riots on May 13 and 14 in the province, Colonel Thao said. The riots were provoked by aggressive elements that took advantage of peaceful marches against China’s illegal placement of drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in Vietnamese waters to incite violence in some industrial parks in the province, Thao said. During the unrest, rioters attacked many companies including foreign-invested enterprises, damaging corporate assets, looting property, and even resisting police officers. Police have now classified all the detainees and will impose criminal charges on about 750 of them, Colonel Thao said. They will be prosecuted on charges of “causing public disorder,” “destroying or deliberately damaging property,” “stealing property,” and “resisting persons in the performance of their official duties,” the official said. Tran Van Nam, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said competent agencies are preparing necessary steps to bring these rioters to trial within a month. Tran Van Lieu, head of the Management Board of Binh Duong Province Industrial Parks, said that 80 percent of the businesses that had halted operations due to the recent riots have resumed work as of May 19.

The Binh Duong authorities will support the other affected companies so that they can recover their normal operations soon, said Nguyen Minh Giao, head of the Propaganda and Training Commission of the provincial Party Committee. On May 16, Tran Thanh Liem, deputy chairman of the Binh Duong People’s Committee, visited many affected industrial parks including Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park 1 (VSIP 1) and Viet Huong Industrial Park, while his deputies paid a visit to many others including Song Than 1 and Dat Cuoc.

In a meeting with the representatives of foreign companies affected by the riots at VSIP 1, Liem said, “We are very regretful about the serious damage suffered by many enterprises during the riots. On behalf of the provincial government, I would like to extend sincere apologies to all of you.”

The deputy chairman also said that local authorities will take measures to prevent similar incidents from repeating in the future and will help businesses that have suffered from the riots resume their normal operations soon. On May 15, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung issued an official message to the Ministry of Public Security, relevant ministries, and local authorities, demanding that they protect foreign investors. The premier also required that authorities strictly punish those who instigated the riots.

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