Profile

Le Dinh Kinh

Current Status: Deceased

Photo of Le Dinh Kinh

Other Names: Lê Đình Kình

Date of Birth: 1936

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Retired

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Land rights

Communities At Risk:

  • Hoanh Village, Dong Tam Commune

June 2020:

In a report released by Hanoi police investigators, authorities are formalizing charges of murder against 25 residents of Dong Tam Commune who were arrested after a violent early morning raid by local public security forces left three police officers and the leader of the village dead. Four others also face different charges. The report raised more questions in an already disputed case, such as “why DNA identifications were not made of the three police officers who died in the assault, reportedly by burning” and details of the case of Bui Viet Hieu, an elder activist who was shot and injured during the raid.

Details - Background, History of Activism, Family Situation.

Le Dinh Kinh lived and worked in Dong Tam Commune, Hanoi. He had been a senior member of the Communist Party for 47 years. He held several leading public offices in the local government, including the chairperson of the commune’s People’s Committee, the secretary of the commune Party branch, and leader of local public security force.

In 2014, when the authorities decided to give Dong Senh, a traditionally cultivated land belonging to Dong Tam residents, to Viettel for alleged commercial development, Le Dinh Kinh became the leader of the local movement to fight against this decision. 

After that, Le Dinh Kinh was subjected to serious mistreatment and harassment. In 2017, he was kidnapped by the local public security force, and during this time, public security agents also broke his leg. 

With the strong support of his family and the local population, Kinh was able to continue to resist the authorities.

His sons were all reportedly arrested in the raid on Dong Tam Commune on January 9, 2020. His wife has been subjected to serious torture and degrading treatment, as we reported

Over 1 billion dong was raised by Vietnamese in Vietnam and all around the world to support the family. However, half of it has been frozen by a local bank named Vietcombank (500 million dong equals approximately USD $22,000). The authorities unjustly alleged that the money would be used for “terrorist” purposes.

January 9, 2020: arbitrarily killed in police raid

Killed by police
January 9, 2020
Public security
His house in Hoanh Village, Dong Tam Commune (map)

  • life
  • freedom of expression
  • not be subjected to torture and degrading treatment
  • respect of privacy, family, home, and correspondence
  • Defend the Defenders
  • Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam
  • The 88 Project
  • Vietnamese civil society groups
  • VOICE

Dong Tam is a rural commune belonging to My Duc District, Hanoi City, now also named after the long-standing land conflict between the residents of Hoanh Village and the government concerning the legal status of the traditionally agricultural land called Dong Senh. The conflict started in 2014, when the government tried to ban residents from entering and cultivating in Dong Senh. The hostility continued for several years and quickly attracted national attention when the leader of the village, Le Dinh Kinh, was allegedly kidnapped by public security forces, resulting in a serious leg injury in 2017. Subsequently, the villagers took dozens of public security officers hostage when they were surrounding Hoanh Village. Things only deescalated after Le Dinh Kinh was released. The 2020 deadly incident was unexpected by many observers.

While the authorities accused Le Dinh Kinh of orchestrating an attack against the public security force, at 3:00 am on January 9, 2020, some 3,000 police officers descended on Dong Tam village and attacked Kinh’s house with ammunition and without any  warrant. Kinh was asleep and was with his wife and other members of the family. Du Thi Thanh’s testimony asserts that he did not participate in any previous attack and was still alive when they forcefully took him away. During his funeral, the public security also barred many people from all over the country from visiting and heavily controlled the private event.

The 88 Project and seven Vietnamese human rights organizations sent a joint letter to EU Members of Parliament calling for action to postpone the ratification of the EVFTA until Vietnam showed genuine improvement of human rights conditions.

Profile last updated: 2020-06-15 02:03:25

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