Order the spring issue here


ORIENTERING June 1970 / A young Vietnamese woman told of the torture in Con Son's prisons.

This article is machine translated by Google from Norwegian

The Americans are not just funding the war of the Saigon Junta. With American money, prisons are run, which are in fact concentration camps.
Last summer, a group of American priests and politicians visited a prison island. It later became known as Con Son. They delivered a report that was not discussed in the press. It told of arbitrary imprisonment and torture. Similar information emerged during the Russel Tribunal. A young Vietnamese woman told of the torture in Con Son's prisons.

The information about the cruel conditions in the Saigon Junta concentration camps is therefore not new. IN Report from Hanoi says Phan Binh Trong about the archipelago Paula Condor which is the only major concentration camp. Here is also Con Son. Phan Binh Trong reports:

Archipelago is a concentration camp

“After spending a couple of years in different prisons on the mainland, I came here to Poula Condor, or Can Dao as it is called in Vietnamese. There is an archipelago just off the southern tip of southern Vietnam, approx. four miles in circumference. It is a single concentration camp, and the worst of all in all South Vietnam.

I was there for six years. Each cell was one and a half feet wide and two and a half feet long. On one short side was the door. In it was a small hole for air and light. Not window. Along one side, it was a ledge in cement, half a meter wide, two meters long – that was the bed. The cell was originally built for one prisoner. We were rarely fewer than four, and often six or seven. But it happened that they housed up to ten prisoners. When we were so many, not everyone could sit at the same time. We had to switch to sit and stand.

We had to carry out our natural needs on the floor, next to the door. The stench was terrible.

The clothes we were wearing when we arrived were soon in rags, and after a while most were naked. We had to carry out our natural needs on the floor, next to the door. The stench was terrible. After a few months, we happened to get a shovel so we could soothe the excrement and scrape away the thick layer of dirt that covered the floor. ”

Rotten food

“Once a day, we got half a serving of rice in a scraped half of coconut and maybe some more fish, but the fish was often rotten. And a pitcher of water. Every prisoner had to go out for a moment to retrieve this ration – and at the same time he got some punches and kicks from the guards. They were so used to beating that they could not help, although this part of the abuse did not belong to the actual torture that was carried out systematically and with a specific goal.

I've seen prisoners die with a serving of rice in my hand. I saw others who entered the cell, but who died soon after eating the bitter diet.

Some torture methods with which they varied: Filling the body with water through the nose, sewage water with creosol, until the prisoner fainted. Afterwards, they trampled on him and hit his body with sticks so the water splashed and the prisoner spit. "

After a few hours, one becomes insane and gets an anxiety that is indescribable.

The water droplets

“Another method was electric shock. A third way was to hang up with our wrists or feet. The torturists lined up in the ring and whipped us as we swung from one to the other. This seemed fun to them. They roared with laughter.

Another way: to bind ourselves so that we lay with our forehead under a drop of water that was dripping and dripping. It doesn't sound so dangerous, except that the thirst gets worse. But after a while everything goes around, you lose your memory. And after a few hours, one gets crazy and gets an anxiety that is indescribable. I think this torture was the most feared of all. "

Broken ribs

"I still remember on March 27, 1961. The enemy took me out of the cell and tortured me with a new method. They held me in my hands or legs and trampled on me with iron-sheathed heels and they threw me into the air and dropped me onto the cement floor. I fainted and they woke me up with water and started again. They stayed from ten in the evening until the gray light the next day. Several ribs were then broken.

They threw me into a single cell. There I lay for a long time, maybe a few months. I could just lie on one side. The wrong ribs made the slightest movement a disorder. But they left me alone until I could move again. They came with some rice and water once a day.

The only food is rice that is thrown in through the sprinkles.

I remember a friend who, during a torture, had been hit by a leg they threw into one corner and he couldn't move because of that leg.

Question: But what would they really achieve with this abuse?

Answer: We were to sign a paper on how to distance communism and Ho Chi Minh. ”

In a cage

This was revealed by Sara Lidman four years ago. Conditions have not improved since. Here is a recent story from the cages:

Being thrown into the tiger cage is the worst thing a prisoner can do at Con Son. Many who are forced there are plagued to death. A South Vietnamese who has spent four years in the Saigon regime's concentration camps has reported on the tiger cages:

“The prisoners on the island are often forced to walk long distances every day to look for firewood. But there are few trees on the island. The forests have been cut down. Those who cannot collect half a cubic meter before the evening are beaten by the guards. The abuse is so severe that they will not be able to get up the next day.

When a prisoner is thrown into the tiger cage, he is first stripped of all clothing. Then he is knocked unconscious. While in the cage, he is not allowed to wash. The only food is rice that is thrown in through the sprinkles. Sometimes they use the grille as a toilet or empty excrement over the prisoners. "

Every three days the bodies are taken out of the cells.

Eating grass

“Some prisoners are kept locked up in the cages for months. Thirty percent of these prisoners survive. But there are not enough tiger cages for all prisoners. Therefore, hundreds of people are trapped inside narrow cells without windows.

After the first twenty days, one prisoner of a hundred dies. After a month, another one dies. It continues in that way until five or ten prisoners die daily. Every three days the bodies are taken out of the cells.

When half of the detainees are dead, the cages are opened. Then the survivors crawl out into the grass. They are desperate and starving. The prisoners start eating off the grass. They lie on the ground and eat the grass. And they survive. They survive until the next punishment comes. ”

Phan Binh Trong / June 1970

You may also like