US Citizen Held in Vietnam ‘Confesses’ on State Television

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A motorist looks at vehicles burned at a police station by protesters in south-central Vietnam's Binh Thuan province, June 12, 2018.
A motorist looks at vehicles burned at a police station by protesters in south-central Vietnam's Binh Thuan province, June 12, 2018.

An American citizen detained in Vietnam on public order charges confessed Monday night on state television, apologizing for his role in public demonstrations that rocked the country earlier this month and promising to stay away from protests in the future, news sources said on Tuesday.

William Nguyen, a 32-year-old graduate student from Houston, Texas, was beaten by police and detained on June 10 in Ho Chi Minh City, also called Saigon, for attending what began the day before as a peaceful protest over government plans to grant long-term leases to foreign companies operating in special economic zones (SEZs).

News of the proposed concessions had stirred public fears that the leases would go to Chinese-owned firms.

In tweets posted from the rallies, Nguyen had described clashes between citizens and the police and said that protesters were also demonstrating against a cybersecurity bill that would further restrict citizens’ use of the internet.

The law, approved by Vietnam’s National Assembly last week, required companies like Google and Facebook to delete posts considered threatening to national security and to store users’ personal information inside Vietnam.

Speaking to RFA’s Vietnamese Service on Tuesday, Vietnam-based blogger Nguyen Lan Thang said that Nguyen had clearly been singled out by authorities for arrest.

“Seeing him at the protest on June 10 was very encouraging to other protesters, and it was also encouraging to young Vietnamese in the United States and in other places,” he said.

“The government is very worried about further protests on the same scale, because the size of this last protest was completely beyond their expectations.”

“There are people who want to return to Vietnam to contribute to changes in this country, and this decision was a warning to other Vietnamese living overseas who might have any interest in coming back,” he said.

It’s a spiritual crackdown,” he said.

Protests meanwhile continued over the weekend, with protesters detained on Sunday in Ho Chi Minh City.

Thousands also demonstrated in central Ha Thinh province, following clashes earlier in the week in south-central Binh Thuan province, where protesters wielded bricks and Molotov cocktails against police and damaged official buildings.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Viet Ha. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Comments (2)


fake confession from torture and threats, standard procedure for communist government.
We all know the truth, backward communists dont fool anyone. God will not protect them, they are falling one by one, as they compete against each other doing evil.

Jun 21, 2018 01:56 PM

Hate Communist with a passion

from ghet bac Ho

Couple points here, they are:
>The people have collectively spoken and they aren’t wrong! Mr. Nguyễn Phú Trọng needs to know that. On the other hand; Mr ‘Fool’; you are absolutely wrong about the people’s will and strength.
> These demonstrations should send a clear message to the like of Nguyễn Phú Trọng (Mr. Fool), Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (uh…you don’t want me to translate that 1st name!), Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (kim thu’i!) that the people aren’t sheep. We are watching and yours ‘party’ needs to do right by them. Again, Am I dreaming? Mark my word, I give another 4 months before the next nationwide demonstration will break out!
>The VNmese living abroad are behind you 100% - all the times. We are having our own demonstrations to express our dislike with; another; ignorant decision from Ha Noi, and the Chinese toxic ambitious.
>Will’s courage is very commendable. It has stirred and ignited million VNmese souls.

Jun 20, 2018 10:56 AM





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