A Catholic environmental activist was arrested in Vietnam last week, and when his supporters gathered outside local government offices to demand an explaination, police attacked the crowd.

Father John Baptist Nguyen Dinh Thuc reported that after asking the crowd to disperse, “scored of police rush the crowd to brutalize those who remained.” Father Thuc had been traveling with Hoang Duc Binh when the latter was arrested.

Binh had been providing legal advice to fishermen who say that they lost their livelihood a toxic spill from a steel plant killed off tens of thousands of fish in their regular regular grounds on the coast of Ha Tinh province. Government officials accused Binh of “inciting extremist Catholics’ to engage in anti-government activity.