Terrorist group responsible for recent rallies in Ho Chi Minh City, police say

Police in Ho Chi Minh City have stated that an anti-government organization was responsible for the recent assemblies of people that disturbed public order on May 1 and 8

The back of the Saigon Notre Dame Basilica in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, where a protest took place on May 8, 2016

Investigation showed that a U.S.-based terrorist organization named ‘Viet Tan’ (Vietnam Reform) has caused social disorder at several locations in the southern city in the name of environmental protection, the municipal Department of Police affirmed on Saturday afternoon.

The group took advantage of the mass fish deaths in central provinces, whose cause has yet to be determined by authorities, and collaborated with other accomplices from inside and outside the country to incite protests.

‘Viet Tan’ members also formed several groups to support the protestors, including handing out snacks, water, and money to them as well as preparing banners and slogans, officers said.

Various members of the public, including juveniles and those having criminal records, have been manipulated and talked into being a part of the rallies, they added.  

Police officers stated that such actions were aimed at causing public disorder, sabotaging the upcoming national election and subsequently overthrowing the current regime.

A grand election will be organized on Sunday next week, during which all citizens 18 years old and above will cast their vote to select members of the nation’s lawmaking National Assembly as well as of the local-level People’s Councils for the 2016-21 tenure.

Officers asserted that the anti-government organization will attempt to elevate similar protests into riots.

According to police, several protestors were overly aggressive during a gathering on May 8, causing four officers to be injured.

More importantly, several police officers have been threatened as some Internet users posted statuses on social media sites, initiating a hunt for such law enforcers with attractive cash rewards.

One officer has been attacked at his own house so far, with his personal property being destroyed, police said, adding that the case is being investigated.

Many pieces of information have been spread across social media, calling for protests at crowded places in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, namely the Nguyen Hue Walking Street, 23/9 Park, and the ‘backpacker area,’ officers stated.

They added that the conspirators also issued guidelines on how to deal with competent authorities during the rallies.

Police in other provinces have acknowledged the illegal scheme of ‘Viet Tan,’ which is to stir up civil disorder across the country on the occasion of the upcoming election (May 22).

In another development, a representative of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Police said that they are investigating a case regarding Hoang My Uyen, a Vietnamese Facebook user nicknamed Ubee Crazee.

Uyen claimed that she and her daughter were assaulted by police and security officers during a protest in District 1 on May 8.

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