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Vietnam police break up protest over controversial draft law

AFP  |  Hanoi 

Police broke up a protest in Vietnam's capital today and dragged away about 20 people as grows over a proposal to grant companies lengthy land leases.

The at the centre of the furore would allow 99-year concessions in planned special economic zones, which some view as sweetheart deals for foreign and specifically Chinese firms.

About 40-50 protesters gathered at Hanoi's holding placards reading "Protest against the on special economic zones" and "Protest against leasing land to China".

An saw plainclothes police drag around 20 people away and move them to nearby buses. Authorities could not be reached for comment.

The protest went ahead despite a concession by the communist government, which said yesterday that it would ask parliament to delay approving the law until the end of the year.

also told on Thursday that the government would seek to reduce the period of the leases, but did not say by how much.

Today's demonstration followed the arrest of two people the previous day in the southern province of for spreading leaflets calling for protests against the legislation, reported.

Images on showed demonstrations in and other parts of Vietnam, as calls for action spread on earlier last week.

A outlet also reported that protesters in province on the south-had blocked traffic and thrown rocks at police.

Public shows of dissent are rare in the one-party state, where a conservative leadership in place since 2016 has taken a more aggressive stance against activists.

A Vietnamese environmental activist was jailed for 14 years in February over protests against a toxic waste dump that killed tonnes of fish in 2016, an incident that sparked nationwide demonstrations.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, June 10 2018. 18:25 IST