Police in Vietnam’s northern Quang Ninh province detained a garment worker suspected of recruiting for the Falun Gong spiritual movement this week, confiscating 65 leaflets she was carrying, state media sources said.
Dang Thi Hau, a resident of the Don Dac commune in the province’s Ba Che district, was taken into custody on Dec. 16, according to a Dec. 18 notice from the Ministry of Information and Communications and an article in the Quang Ninh newspaper on Dec. 17.
Police suspect Dang of working to persuade others to join the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which is banned in China and closely monitored in Vietnam, and are continuing to investigate the case, official sources said.
Whether Dang is still in police custody remains unknown.
An Aug. 23, 2018 directive signed by Major General Nguyen Van Duc, head of the Propaganda Office of the General Politics Department in Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense orders a close watch by authorities on the activities of Falun Gong followers in the country.
Sporadic cases of harassment by police and even brutal use of force have been reported by Falun Gong practitioners in recent years when they conducted exercises in public places such as parks.
'An evil cult'
Founded in 1992 in China’s eastern province of Henan, the Falun Gong spiritual movement gained increasing influence as the fastest growing religion in China over the next seven years.
However, the government banned participation in Falun Gong after members staged a massive silent protest outside China’s main leadership compound in Beijing in 1999.
State-run media have portrayed Falun Gong since then as a fringe, fanatical sect, often referring to it as an “evil cult,” and tens of thousands of Falun Gong followers have been jailed or sent to labor camps without trial, with many reported to have been tortured and killed.
Chinese authorities have also put pressure on other governments to restrict Falun Gong gatherings overseas.
Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by An Nguyen. Written in English by Richard Finney.