TF Archives

Vietnam Declares War On Clubs

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Saturday, June 4, 2005
Vietnamese authorities banned all new nightclubs and bars and arrested hundreds of clubbers attending a Hanoi club this week, as part of an escalating crackdown against "social evils'.

According to Reuters, cops detained over 200 clubbers on charges of using drugs following the raid as well as 26 staff members after they found ecstasy and speed at the unnamed club in downtown Hanoi.

The anti-nightclub purge comes three years after Britain's Foreign Office specifically warned travellers against using drugs before visiting the South East Asian backpacking destination since, like Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, testing positive is a serious criminal offence punishable by jail. According to civil right group Human Rights Watch (HRW), conditions inside jails in Vietnam remain "extremely harsh' with violence endemic throughout the system.

"Human Rights Watch received reports of the use of shackles and solitary confinement in cramped, dark cells, and the beating, kicking, and use of electric shock batons on detainees by police officers," HRW reported in 2002. "Police officers routinely arrested and detained suspects without written warrants, and suspects were often held in detention for as long as a year without being formally charged or tried."

Canadian drug dealer Randy Sachs, 26, received a 16 year sentence for ecstasy offences last October, prompting his mother to declare him dead.

"I'm experiencing a mourning period as if he passed away," she told, "It would be easier on the family if he did. I hate to say it. It would be easier on him, too," she added.