Unregistered and unrecognised: the plight of Vietnam’s Duong Van Minh community

One year ago today, on 12 December 2021, hundreds of persons in medical protective suits and plainclothes, and police, some armed with shields and batons, disrupted the funeral of Duong Van Minh, the ethnic Hmong founder of an eponymous religious community in Northern Vietnam.

The authorities claimed they were there to force people to take COVID-19 tests, despite no infection having been reported in the area.

Police in Tuyen Quang province arrested and beat at least 36 people as they attempted to attend the funeral. Seven more were arrested a day later, on 13 December, when they went to protest the police action. On 15 December, police announced over loudspeakers that five more people had to surrender. These five were subsequently arrested and accused of assaulting officials.

In total, at least 48 people were arrested.

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