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Persecution of Degar Montagnards - Machete Attacks

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On January 8th, 2011, a Montagnard man named A Hling, age 68, and his two children, his son, A Nhong, age 25, and his daughter, Y Nhao, were walking from their village toward their rice field when six Vietnamese civilian men carrying machetes ambushed them. A Hling and his two children attempted to escape but they were surrounded. As A Hling tried to turn, one of the Vietnamese swung and slashed him with a machete on his right leg. His son A Nhong similarly tried to run away but was struck on his left leg. Y Nhao was cut on her left arm when she tried to shield herself from their attack. Their wounds were deep but did not penetrate through the bones.

The family members did not go to the nearby Vietnamese clinic for treatment because Vietnamese medical clinics have a reputation for actively euthanizing montagnards, even when injuries are relatively minor. There have been multiple accounts of Montagnard patients with non life-threatening injuries or illnesses being given injections of supposed medicine and then dying shortly thereafter. We strongly suspect they are being injected with lethal poison. Indeed, it is a well-known fact that many more Degar people die in Vietnamese clinics than those who elect to be treated at home. This is one of the Vietnamese government’s secret schemes of destroying our people. A Hling and his family did not dare to go to the Vietnamese clinic, but their wounds were severe enough to prevent them working in the fields and there is still a danger that they may not survive these injuries.

The attack was reported to the local authorities, but security forces refused to investigate charges against the Vietnamese attackers. Because it was a crime against Montagnards by Vietnamese, they chose not to enforce the law. The attackers should have been arrested and imprisoned for attempted murder, but they were not even questioned about their crime. Today, A Hling and his two children continue to be unable to work. A Hling and his children are from the village of Plei Kon M’Har, commune of Ha-Dong, district of Dak Doa in Gia Lai province.

Of the six Vietnamese men who ambushed them, three were known by name, Hung, Tuan, and Du who are all from the Ayun commune, in the district of Dak Doa in the Gia Lai province. The identities of the other three attackers are unknown.

According to a reliable source of information from the Central Highlands, the Vietnamese government has begun covertly hiring civilian thugs to attack Degar people. It has always been common practice for the Vietnamese government to stand by and passively allow its Vietnamese civilian population to harm and murder Degar people, but now they are actively promoting civilian violence against our people. This evil action is in addition to depriving our people of our basic human rights and confiscating our lands, which leaves us with nothing; we are doomed to gradually and painfully die of starvation.

The government of Vietnam has imposed intolerable injustices such as these upon our Degar people in the expectation that our people will object, which would then allow the government to accuse our people of destabilizing their national security. Then, they will have grounds to arrest, torture, imprison and murder our people by beatings and poisonings. Their ultimate goal is to exterminate our race of people completely because we are different from them and because they greedily desire complete and uncontested possession of our homelands.

This is nothing but because of their hatred toward our race of people for being different from them and because of their desire to exterminate our people so that they can have our homeland for themselves. The Vietnamese government arrests, tortures and imprisons our people because we are Christians. Vietnamese civilians murder our people because we are a different race from them; they poison our food and water sources and they ambush our people when we travel alone or when they have a large enough group to attack our people. These cowards never attack on equal terms. They attack men without weapons, the elderly, women and children. But the worst part of this injustice is that when Degar people seek help from the government, they (the victims) are the ones who are charged with the crime. Once a Degar is charged with a crime, there is rarely hope; either they are put to death or imprisoned, which more than not is also a death sentence.

The prison system of the Vietnamese government (to the Montagnards) is nothing but a death sentence. The Vietnamese officials make a point of torturing our people. They have developed the skill of abusing someone to the point of death and then releasing them so that there is no paper record that the victim died in prison – this tactic gives humanitarian organizations a reason to remain inactive. It is no coincidence that the majority of Degar people, who have served prison terms and were released, died shortly afterward. An even higher percentage of our people die in the prison, in the hospital or less than a year after had been released from prison because of internal injuries from being severely tortured, being given fatal injections and being served poisoned food. Therefore, being imprisoned in Vietnam is the same as being sentenced to death from the court – that is, for a Montagnard.

We, the indigenous Degar people of the Central Highlands, believe that the Vietnamese government and its civilian population will never stop persecuting our people until we are entirely extinct. Likewise, we can never stop struggling for our survival.

For this reason, we would like to humbly appeal to the International Communities to help stop the Vietnamese government and people from annihilating our Degar race of people.

Article by Montagnard Foundation