The Hue Vesak shootings refer to the deaths of nine unarmed Buddhist civilians on May 8, 1963 in the city of Huế in South Vietnam, at the hands of the army and security forces of the government of Ngo Dinh Diem. The army and police fired guns and launched grenades into a crowd of Buddhists who had been protesting against a government ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on the day of Vesak, which commemorates the birth of Gautama Buddha. Diem's denial of governmental responsibility for the incident—he instead blamed the Vietcong—led to growing discontent among the Buddhist majority.
The incident spurred a protest movement by Buddhists against the religious discrimination of the Roman Catholic-dominated Diem regime, known as the Buddhist crisis, and widespread large-scale civil disobedience among the South Vietnamese. On November 1, 1963, after six months of tension and growing opposition to the regime, generals from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam conducted a coup, which saw the removal and assassination of Diem.