Last update:
2020-01-18

Mieu Mon military airport, Vietnam

A land rights dispute over expansion of Mieu Mon military airport, onto farmland villagers say was unfairly taken over, escalated to deadly violence. In January 2020 a community leader and 3 police were killed in a massive police raid on Dong Tam village.


Description:

At 4am on 9th January 2020 police, in coordination with local ground forces, cordoned off the Dong Tam commune and forcibly reclaimed 59 hectares of land from villagers using it for farming. A clash between police and Dong Tam villagers ensued, which resulted in the death of village leader Le Dinh Kinh and three police. Fighting Over Senh Field: A report on the Dong Tam village attack, published by the Liberal Publishing House and edited by the Dong Tam Task Force, the latter newly established in response to what it describes as a ‘violent government attack’, documents the event, concluding that it was ‘possibly the bloodiest land dispute in Vietnam in the past ten years’.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Mieu Mon military airport, Vietnam
Country:Vietnam
State or province:Ha Noi
Location of conflict:My Duc district
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Military installations
Land acquisition conflicts
Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Vietnamese government claimed 47.63 hectares of land from Dong Tam residents for the Mieu Mon Airport project in 1980. The government cancelled the project in 2006 only to revive it in 2014 when the Ministry of Defense gave military-owned communications company Viettel land in Dong Tam ‘for defense purposes’ to build a factory. The Mieu Mon Airport developer is the Air Defense and Air Force Corps. In 2017 the Hanoi Inspectorate concluded that two contiguous land parcels, the 47.36 hectare Eastern Part and the 59 hectare Western Part referred to as ‘Senh Field’, are land for defence purposes.[1] On 31st December 2019 the Ministry of Defense and local agencies began construction of a fence (wall) around the Mieu Mon Airport site.[4]

Project area:106.36
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/03/2015
Company names or state enterprises:Viettel from Vietnam - Attempting to claim disputed land for expansion of Mieu Mon Military Airport site
Relevant government actors:Government of Vietnam
Ministry of Public Security
Ministry of Defense
People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN)
Hanoi Capital Region
Hanoi People’s Committee
Hanoi Inspectorate
Air Defense and Air Force Corps
People’s Committee of My Duc District
Hanoi Police Department
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Dong Tam Task Force
Liberal Publishing House - https://nhaxuatbantudo.com/
Solidarity Committee for Dong Tam - https://www.gofundme.com/f/chungtaygiupdodongbaodongtam
Defend the Defenders - http://www.vietnamhumanrightsdefenders.net/2020/01/21/vietnam-human-rights-defenders-weekly-report-for-january-13-19-2020-vietnam-continues-crackdown-on-dong-tam-residents-and-involving-activists/
The 88 Project - https://the88project.org/
Duong Noi Land Grab Victims
Green Trees - https://en.greentreesvn.org/
Free Viêt Labor Federation (Liên Đoàn Lao Động Việt Tự Do) - https://laodongviet.org/about-vietlabor/
The Independent Journalist Association of Vietnam
Viet Labor Movement (Phong Trào Lao Động Việt) - https://www.facebook.com/phongtraolaodongviet/
VOICE
Human Rights Watch – https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2018/country-chapters/vietnam
Amnesty International - https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/vietnam-deadly-land-clashes-lead-arrests-and-social-media-crackdown
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Women
Religious groups
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Threats to use arms
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Boycotts of companies-products
Fundraising campaign to support family of Le Dinh Kinh (killed in the land dispute) and the people of Dong Tam
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Oil spills, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Other Health impacts
Potential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Infectious diseases
Other Health impactsIllnesses caused by pollutants emitted by aircraft
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Displacement, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Repression
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:There is compelling evidence of state violence against citizens in the raid on Dong Tam village.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Fighting Over Senh Field: A Report on the Dong Tam Village Attack, Dong Tam Task Force, 15 January 2020, Liberal Publishing House
[click to view]

[1] Fighting Over Senh Field: A Report on the Dong Tam Village Attack, Dong Tam Task Force, 15 January 2020, Liberal Publishing House
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[4] Long-simmering Land Dispute in Hanoi Suburb Explodes in Violence, Killing 4, The Vietnamese, 9 January 2020
[click to view]

[5] 30 protestors were arrested due to Dong Tam land disputes, Vietnam Insider, 10 January 2020
[click to view]

[7] Three Policemen, Civilian Killed in Clash Over Land Near Vietnam’s Capital, Radio Free Asia, 9 January 2020
[click to view]

[8] Vietnam: Deadly land clashes lead to arrests and social media crackdown, Amnesty International UK, 16 January 2020
[click to view]

[9] Bishop Vincent’s message of solidarity with the people of Dong Tam village, Vietnam, Catholic Outlook, 20 January 2020
[click to view]

[2] President of Hanoi City: "Some people claim to have benefited in Mieu Mon", VAAJU.COM, 27 August 2019
[click to view]

[3] Three policemen died in Hanoi's Dong Tam clash, Vietnam net, 9 Jan 2020
[click to view]

[10] Vietnamese Intellectuals Denounce Police Killing at Dong Tam, Radio Free Asia, 22 January 2020
[click to view]

[2] Long-simmering Land Dispute in Hanoi Suburb Explodes in Violence, Killing 4, The Vietnamese, 9 January 2020
[click to view]

[3] President of Hanoi City: "Some people claim to have benefited in Mieu Mon", VAAJU.COM, 27 August 2019
[click to view]

[4] Three policemen died in Hanoi's Dong Tam clash, Vietnam net, 9 Jan 2020
[click to view]

[6] Vietnam Human Rights Defenders’ Weekly Report for January 13-19, 2020: Vietnam Continues Crackdown on Dong Tam Residents and Involving Activists, Defend the Defenders, 19 January 2020
[click to view]

[11] Vietnamese Intellectuals Denounce Police Killing at Dong Tam, Radio Free Asia, 22 January 2020
[click to view]

[10] Eight Organizations’ Joint Letter to EU Members of Parliament in Light of Recent Brutality in Dong Tam Village, 24 January 2020
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Clash in Hanoi Land Dispute Leaves Three Police, One Civilian Dead | Radio Free Asia (RFA), Radio Free Asia, 9 January 2020
[click to view]

Video testimony from Du Thi Thanh, Le Dinh Kinh’s wife, on how police beat her into making a false confession, Will Nguyen, 13 January 2020
[click to view]

Video - Clash in Hanoi Land Dispute Leaves Three Police, One Civilian Dead | Radio Free Asia (RFA), Radio Free Asia, 9 January 2020
[click to view]

Video testimony from Du Thi Thanh, Le Dinh Kinh’s wife, saying how police beat her into making a false confession, Will Nguyen, 13 January 2020
[click to view]

Five Things To Know about the Deadly Clash in Đồng Tâm, Loa, 19 January 2020
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Rose Bridger, Stay Grounded, email: [email protected]
Last update18/01/2020
Comments
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