Như Ngọc (Danlambao) - On the afternoon of March 28, 2014, thousands of people in Ninh Thuan province continued to protest in downtown Phan Rang city. The protesters demand the release of 6 people who were arrested earlier for protesting against a titanium mining plant which has caused too much pollution.
In response, Ninh Thuan authorities immediately mobilized police and riot police to disperse the demonstration by force. The protesters fought back by throwing stones and other objects at the police. A video clip posted on YouTube shows hundreds of protesters simultaneously repulse the crackdown carried out by uniformed police and riot police.
The protest had caused a massive traffic jam on Vietnam National Highway 1; traffic was tied up at Phu Ha intersection for tens of kilometers around. By the evening, vehicles could cross this area when the protest began to draw down.
Ninh Thuan authorities said two police were injured during a clash with protesters and were hospitalized.
Protest in Ninh Thuan on March 28, 2014.
Earlier, on Friday, March 20, 2014, four police of Phuoc Dinh commune, Nam Thuan district, Ninh Thuan province, were injured during a clash with protesters who have accused local authorities of allowing the MTV Quang Thuan Company to mine titanium causing drinking-water contamination and environmental damage.
Six people participated in a previous protest against a titanium mining project were arrested, detained and charged of “resisting persons in the performance of their official duties”. Among them, Mr. Do Van Duc and Mr. Duong Van Phuoc, are detained with a 3-month detention order for motivating local residents to stop titanium mining.
A long-time conflict between the residents and the authorities related to titanium mining in Ninh Thuan resulted in the uprising of the people in Thuan Nam district on March 20, 2014, when local officials announced their decision to allow Quang Thuan Company to continue its titanium mining operation.
Failing to achieve their goals after making numerous protests locally, people had flocked to the headquarters of the People's Committee of Ninh Thuan Province to make protest and to put pressure on the provincial authorities. On March 27, 2014, Ninh Thuan authorities made a compromise to suspend titanium mining permission; however, six mentioned people were arrested for participating in that protest.