#Civil Rights
Savills, British University, and all participants in the Ecopak project

On April 24th 2012 about three thousand riot police clashed with villagers in Van Giang district (Hung Yen province, Vietnam) who had gathered to protest against the forced seizure of their land for the luxury residential complex Ecopark. The police used clubs to savagely beat the protesters, twenty of whom were detained.

The 8.2 billion USD Ecopark project is located only about 10 km (6 miles) from the very centre of Hanoi, within a region being developed as a high class suburban area, leading to vertiginous price rises. The developed land is being advertised or traded at rates ranging from 1000 to 2000 USD/m2 with shell buildings, or 500 to 1000 USD/m2 for land only. However, the villagers are offered only 6 USD/m2. Since each family lived and worked on an average of 350 m2 of land, their “compensation package” works out to about USD 2000 per family, a meagre sum for the loss of their abode and livelihood. This amount would sustain a family of four for at most a few months.

In addition to the physical loss of livelihood, the families have deep emotional attachment to their ancestral land where many of their forebears were buried. Indeed, after the police dispersed the protestors, developers immediately moved in and dug up the ground, desecrating many graves. All villagers could do is to pick up bits of their forefathers’ bones from the ground, as though a tsunami has had passed through their land.

The villagers have had no say over the authorities’ decision to develop the traditional land upon which their ancestors and generations of families have toiled and lived. In spite of their protests going back to 2003, no tribunal has heard their claims.

We request Savills and the British University to immediately terminate your relationship with Vihajico due to its unconscionable action against the Vietnamese landowners by using government forces to evict the villagers without proper compensation and legal representation.

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The Stop the inhumane practice of Vihajico in the Ecopak project petition to Savills, British University, and all participants in the Ecopak project was written by Voice of Vietnamese Americans and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.