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A portrait of a middle-aged man, looking to the left in a half-portrait/profile. He has chubby cheeks, parts his hair to the side and wears a suit and tie.
Ngo Dinh Diem

The arrest and assassination of Ngô Đình Diệm, the president of South Vietnam, marked the culmination of a successful CIA-backed coup d'état led by General Dương Văn Minh in November 1963. On 2 November 1963, Diệm and his adviser, his younger brother Ngô Đình Nhu, were arrested after the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) had been successful in a bloody overnight siege on Gia Long Palace in Saigon. The coup was the culmination of nine years of autocratic and nepotistic family rule in South Vietnam. Discontent with the Diệm regime had been simmering below the surface, and exploded with mass Buddhist protests against long-standing religious discrimination after the government shooting of protesters who defied a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag.

When rebel forces entered the palace, the Ngô brothers were not present, having escaped before to a loyalist shelter in Cholon. The brothers had kept in communication with the rebels through a direct link from the shelter to the palace, and misled them into believing that they were still in the palace. The Ngô brothers soon agreed to surrender and were promised safe exile; after being arrested, they were instead executed in the back of an armoured personnel carrier by ARVN officers on the journey back to military headquarters at Tân Sơn Nhứt Air Base. While no formal inquiry was conducted, the responsibility for the deaths of the Ngô brothers is commonly placed on Minh's bodyguard, Captain Nguyễn Văn Nhung, and on Major Dương Hiếu Nghĩa, both of whom guarded the brothers during the trip. Minh's army colleagues and U.S. officials in Saigon agreed that Minh ordered the executions. They postulated various motives, including that the brothers had embarrassed Minh by fleeing the Gia Long Palace, and that the brothers were killed to prevent a later political comeback. The generals initially attempted to cover up the execution by suggesting that the brothers had committed suicide, but this was contradicted when photos of the Ngôs' corpses surfaced in the media.


Arrest and assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem sections
Intro  Background  Surrender and debate  Intended arrest at Gia Long Palace  Di\u1ec7m's escape  Arrest in Cholon  Convoy to JGS headquarters  Assassination  Attempted cover-up  Media reaction  Impact and aftermath  Culpability debate  Motivation  Burials of Di\u1ec7m and Nhu  Memorial services  Notes  References  

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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}}

A portrait of a middle-aged man, looking to the left in a half-portrait/profile. He has chubby cheeks, parts his hair to the side and wears a suit and tie.
Ngo Dinh Diem

The arrest and assassination of Ngô Đình Diệm, the president of South Vietnam, marked the culmination of a successful CIA-backed coup d'état led by General Dương Văn Minh in November 1963. On 2 November 1963, Diệm and his adviser, his younger brother Ngô Đình Nhu, were arrested after the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) had been successful in a bloody overnight siege on Gia Long Palace in Saigon. The coup was the culmination of nine years of autocratic and nepotistic family rule in South Vietnam. Discontent with the Diệm regime had been simmering below the surface, and exploded with mass Buddhist protests against long-standing religious discrimination after the government shooting of protesters who defied a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag.

When rebel forces entered the palace, the Ngô brothers were not present, having escaped before to a loyalist shelter in Cholon. The brothers had kept in communication with the rebels through a direct link from the shelter to the palace, and misled them into believing that they were still in the palace. The Ngô brothers soon agreed to surrender and were promised safe exile; after being arrested, they were instead executed in the back of an armoured personnel carrier by ARVN officers on the journey back to military headquarters at Tân Sơn Nhứt Air Base. While no formal inquiry was conducted, the responsibility for the deaths of the Ngô brothers is commonly placed on Minh's bodyguard, Captain Nguyễn Văn Nhung, and on Major Dương Hiếu Nghĩa, both of whom guarded the brothers during the trip. Minh's army colleagues and U.S. officials in Saigon agreed that Minh ordered the executions. They postulated various motives, including that the brothers had embarrassed Minh by fleeing the Gia Long Palace, and that the brothers were killed to prevent a later political comeback. The generals initially attempted to cover up the execution by suggesting that the brothers had committed suicide, but this was contradicted when photos of the Ngôs' corpses surfaced in the media.


Arrest and assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem sections
Intro  Background  Surrender and debate  Intended arrest at Gia Long Palace  Di\u1ec7m's escape  Arrest in Cholon  Convoy to JGS headquarters  Assassination  Attempted cover-up  Media reaction  Impact and aftermath  Culpability debate  Motivation  Burials of Di\u1ec7m and Nhu  Memorial services  Notes  References  

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