12. HOANG TAN HUNG

Testimony


     My name is Hoang Tan Hung. I am forty-five years old, of Vietnamese nationality, and I am a native of the village of Tan My, in the commune of Pho Minh, which is in the province of Quang Ngai in South Vietnam. I am a rice-grower and merchant. My father, Hoang Tan Cong, and my mother, Nguyen Thi Trinh, are both rice-growers.
     On 10 May 1965, I was on my way to buy goods in the village in the province of Quang Ngai. It is a densely populated sugar-producing region. A wave of American jets appeared and began to drop rockets and bombs indiscriminately. I heard a tremendous explosion behind me, and was immediately covered with flames. The heat was unbearable. I ran around screaming. Houses caught fire, and the village was hidden by clouds of smoke. Women and children were screaming. I managed to run a little, then I slumped to the ground and lost consciousness. {145}
     When I regained consciousness, I realized that I was in the hospital. My wounds were bandaged. I was in a state of semiconsciousness. When the bandages were changed, I saw that my flesh was burned, and there was a yellowish pus oozing from the wounds. I could scarcely see with my left eye. My left eardrum was burned and mutilated. I was in pain and often in a state of coma. This prevented me from sleeping, and even from resting. When I regained consciousness, the nurses told me what had happened. When I slumped down to the ground, the inhabitants of the village came and put out the flames, and took me to a hospital. An hour later, white smoke, like burning tobacco, was still rising from the burns on the nape of my neck and on my back. I was in agonizing pain. Ten days later I was transferred from the village to a provincial hospital. The road was long, the means of transport precarious, it was raining and my wounds became infected with insect larvae. After six weeks of hospital treatment I was still in terrible pain; I had fever and burning sensations. I suffered from insomnia and anorexia. Often, when my wounds were being dressed, my flesh would come off in pieces, giving off an unpleasant odour. My wounds healed after six months of treatment. but the whole of my left arm remains attached to my body. Keloid scars appeared on my skin. The wounds on my neck became infected again. The keloids on my neck and back made it difficult for me to move.
     A few months later, I was taken to the hospital of Duc Pho district to continue the treatment. Two years have now passed, but the wounds on the back of my neck have not yet completely healed. The keloids cause me discomfort. Today I denounce before the Tribunal the barbaric crimes of the American imperialist aggressors, who have brought so much suffering to me and to my country. {146}
 

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