On the morning of December 8, 2019, a group of local public security officers arrived at the area of the Loc Hung vegetable garden. The authorities’ intention was to prevent, or apparently, to destroy the construction of a small cave that displayed the nativity of Jesus Christ, a common Christian custom.
The confrontation quickly turned violent. The authorities forcefully took scaffolds, destroyed the wooden structure, and injured many residents. The conflict ended around 4:00 pm on the same day, but three residents– Cao Thi Thu, Pham Trung Hieu, and Pham Duy Quang– were arrested and detained for over six hours by the public security of Ward 6, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City. High-profile forced evictions in early 2019 left hundreds of Loc Hung residents– many of them political activists– homeless with neither compensation for the lost land nor the benefit of a resettlement program.
Pham Duy Quang, detained for protesting against officials’ destruction of Nativity scene (Province: Ho Chi Minh)
Pham Trung Hieu, detained for protesting against officials’ destruction of Nativity scene (Province: Ho Chi Minh)