VIETNAM’S LAND RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND INCREASE IN FOREIGN LAND OWNERSHIP RIGHTS
Background: Under the Vietnamese Constitution, the state owns all the land and leases it to the people for a limited time. The issue of who owns the rights to farm or develop land remains a difficult problem, with occasional protests over illegal seizures of land or “land grabs.”
In 2012, the eviction of a well-respected farmer in Tien Lang district who used homemade bombs to repel police attracted international headlines. Some hope that a revision of the Land Law would address some of these problems.
Recent Development: On 23th September, a Vietnamese court has ordered seven farmers jailed for up to 22 months on charges of disturbing public order after they resisted land grabs to make way for urban development projects in their village.
In protest of this judgement, several protests were held over the last month. This week, a group of protestors were arrested and were sentenced to between 12 and 20 months for disturbing public order. This gained international interest, as increased instances of the authorities and the government agencies to stifle the injustice and protest over forced land grabs have come to light.