Press Release by the Montagnard Foundation Inc. 4 October 2007 BACKGROUND: The indigenous Degar Montagnard Peoples have suffered decades of persecution by the Vietnamese communist government, namely; confiscation of ancestral lands, Christian religious repression, torture, killings and imprisonment. Hundreds of Degar prisoners have been subjected to beatings and electric shock torture with many were repeatedly beaten to cause deaths from internal injuries. One Degar man named Y-Ngo Adrong was tortured to death on 13 July 2006 – of which the US State Department described as “a credible report of extrajudicial killing by security forces”. Christian House churches remain under attack as Vietnam tries to eliminate them by falsely accusing them of being political crimes. See also: “Degar Montagnard Torture Victims Speaks Out”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOSKDjYPyXU. MFI openly questions Vietnam: How can a Degar Christian man – one person – even attempt to overthrow a government that has hundreds of thousands armed forces in its hand? Further we state we have no intention of overthrowing the government and seek only equality for our people. Further we believe all people both Degar Montagnard and ethnic Vietnamese are equal in the eyes of the lord. We seek a peaceful solution, so why do you – the Vietnamese government persecute us so? On September 30, 2007 at approximately 8 am, two Vietnamese security police named Trung (Vietnamese) and Y-Thin (Degar) went to Buon Emap village and arrested our Christian brother Y-Bien Nie charging him with wanting to overthrow the Vietnamese government and for dividing the Vietnamese people. Our Christian brother, Y-Bien Nie (born 1971) is from Buon Emap village, commune Ea Poc, district Cu Mgar in Daklak province. The two police arrested him and took him to the prison facility in Cu Mgar district where they tortured him by beating him with batons, karate chopping and punching him with their fists. They kicked and stomped on him (wearing heavy army boots) and electric shocked him until he collapsed unconscious. The police then revived him by pouring water on him and recommenced the torture process several more times. The police told Y-Bien they would break his ribs so that he will slowly die of injuries and severe pain after they decide to release him. MFI has a question: Why is it the Vietnamese communist government hates Degar people so much that it treats Degar people this way? On October 1, 2007 Y-Bien’s family members visited him in prison and saw him covered with blood and bruises. His face was swollen he was barely recognizable. His family member cried out in distress unable to do anything but pray that God will comfort him. Y Bien Nie currently remains in custody. THE MONTAGNARD FOUNDATION URGENTLY CALLS ON:
- Concerned Embassies, the United Nations, the Red Cross and other international humanitarian agencies to urgently find out if Y-Bien is still alive and ensure he receives urgent medical care and is protected from retaliations by Vietnamese authorities.
- Concerned Embassies, Red Cross and international community urgently demand Vietnam release and account for all Degar Montagnard prisoners including those 350 identified in the Human Rights Watch report of 14 June 2006. http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/06/14/vietna13542.htm
- The US State Department place Vietnam back on the ‘Country of Particular Concern’ (CPC) the watch list of the most egregious state violators of religious freedom.
The Montagnard Foundation (MFI) pledges peaceful means of advocacy in the spirit of democracy and international cooperation. MFI does not seek independence but prays that all Degar Montagnard people, whether they are Protestant, Catholic or animist will one day live freely as equal citizens within Vietnam.