Hanoi reporters assaulted while investigating pollution at slaughterhouse

By Phuong Son   November 6, 2016 | 07:38 pm PT
Hanoi reporters assaulted while investigating pollution at slaughterhouse
A reporter from the television VTC is hospitalized after being attacked at an abattoir in Hanoi on Saturday. Photo courtesy of VTC
They were following up reports of illegal polluting which were published in October.

Hanoi authorities have urged police to investigate an attack on two local reporters who were covering a pollution story at an abattoir on Sunday.

Male reporters Nguyen Tung from Vietnam Television Corporation (VTC) and Pham Hien from Phap luat Vietnam (Vietnam Law) newspaper were allegedly assaulted by a group of people at an abattoir in Thanh Oai District at 2 a.m. on Sunday.

Both were admitted to hospital with difficulty breathing.

“I was hit on the head and body with some kind of hard object,” Tung said.

He said people from the abattoir also took his ID card and cell phone, which he was using to cover the operations there.

On October 23 and 30, Phap Luat Vietnam ran several reports on illegal pollution at the abattoir. The reporters were following up on the reports.

Attacks against journalists in Vietnam, especially those doing investigative stories, are not rare.

Several have been assaulted in recent years while covering controversial waste dumping, overloaded trucks and illegal sand excavation.

In a rare case, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, which is one of the most popular media outlets in the country, is still in a debate with Hanoi Police over the latter’s accusation that one of its reporters was obstructing police work when trying to take pictures of a taxi driver found dead under a bridge in the city in September.

The newspaper said that the reporter was beaten by police during his coverage, but the police said an officer just tried to force him to leave the scene and “accidentally hit him in the face”.

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