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Sunday, December 29, 2002
Axis of evil wannabe
We may be focusing on Iraq and North Korea, currently, but the New York Times provides a reminder that there are other evildoers in the world:
Vietnam announced this week the latest in a long string of prison terms as part of a crackdown on the mostly Christian hill tribe minorities known as Montagnards.

The longest sentence, 10 years, was given to Y Thuon Nie, 30, a church leader and land-rights advocate who led an attempt to flee into neighboring Cambodia on Christmas a year ago. Seven other men were given eight-year sentences.

A court in Daklak Province in the Central Highlands found the men guilty of "organizing illegal migration to Cambodia" and "undermining state and Communist Party policy," according to the official Vietnam News Agency.

The crackdown began in early 2001 after thousands of Montagnards converged on provincial and district government offices in some of the most widespread protests in Vietnam in recent years.

They were protesting restrictions on their evangelical Protestant churches and government-sponsored encroachments on their land by migrants from the lowlands.
Serious question: has there ever been a non-communist government which felt the need to punish its subjects for trying to leave the country?

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