Woman jailed for burn threat

Jan 21, 2010
HANOI – A VIETNAMESE woman who alleged mistreatment in a land dispute and threatened to burn herself outside the prime minister’s home has been jailed for 15 months, a court official and news report said on Thursday.

Tran Ngoc Anh, a resident of southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, was convicted in Hanoi on Wednesday for disturbing public order, a court official told AFP, declining to provide more details.

The incident happened last November when Anh went to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s house in the capital Hanoi, Lao Dong newspaper reported. After verbally abusing two guards, she produced two bottles of petrol and threatened to set herself ablaze, the report said.

Guards immediately seized the bottles and police arrested her, it said. The woman, born in 1966, told investigators she was protesting against unfair compensation given to her family for land taken by local authorities.

Investigators said her complaint had already been dealt with but she repeatedly joined other protesters, and had been arrested and fined on other occasions, the report said.

Land disputes, and residents’ claims that they have been cheated out of fair compensation, have in recent years become the most common cause of protests in Vietnam, a rural country that is rapidly industrialising. — AFP

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