Hanoi Activists Beaten by Police, Thugs during Visit to Family of Boy Who Died in Detention

Two plainclothes policemen attack human rights activist Truong Van Dung (center) on Oct. 16
Two plainclothes policemen attack human rights activist Truong Van Dung (center) on Oct. 16

[themify_box style=”blue, announcement, rounded” ]After sharing sympathy with the family, the activists went back to their homes. However, a group of policemen and thugs blocked their way not far away from the victim’s house. Thugs stumped to attack activists while policemen with uniform watched and took no actions.[/themify_box]

By Vu Quoc Ngu, October 17, 2015

Police and thugs in Hanoi on October 16 brutally attacked a group of local activists during their visit to the family of Do Dang Du, who recently died from severe injuries during police detention.

In the morning of Friday, a group of Hanoi-based human rights activists including Nguyen Tuong Thuy, Mai Xuan Dung, Truong Van Dung, Trinh Ba Phuong, Can Thi Theu, Truong Thi Quy and Phan Cam Huong, went to Dong Cuu village, Dong Phuong Yen commune, Chuong My district to visit the family of the 17-year-old boy who died on October 10 while under special treatment for the injuries he suffered during the detentions in the Hanoi police’s Detention Facility No. 3.

After sharing sympathy with the family, the activists left to go back to their homes. However, a group of policemen and thugs blocked their way not far away from the victim’s house. Thugs attacked the activists while policemen in uniform watched and took no actions.

Mr. Truong Van Dung and Ms. Quy were the most suffered from the attack, with numerous injuries on their bodies, said Mr. Phuong, who was also brutally beaten by police in Nghe An two months ago.

Local residents said many thugs are plainclothes policemen.

The attack occurred few days after Minister of Public Security General Tran Dai Quang ordered authorities in Hanoi to investigate deeply to determine the real causes of the death of the boy who was illegally detained by the Hanoi police two months ago.

After Du died, the Police Department in Hanoi said Du’s injuries were caused by Vu Van Binh, another detainee held in the same cell as the victim. The city’s police prosecuted 17-year-old Binh for “intentionally injuring” and pledged to investigate responsibilities of police officers of the detention facility for allowing the beating to take place.

Du’s relatives and his friends said it is hard to know the real reasons for his death due to the lack of independent investigation. His family believed he was tortured by police in detention.

Vietnam has been ruled by communists for decades who have vowed to maintain the country under a one-party regime. The communist government has intensified its crackdown against local dissidents and human rights activists several months ahead of the party’s National Congress slated in the first quarter of 2016.

Along with arresting a number of political dissidents and charging them with anti-state allegations under controversial articles of the country’s Penal Code, Vietnam has deployed a new tactics to use plainclothes agents or hire underground criminals to brutally attack local activists.

A number of activists, including Nguyen Chi Tuyen, Doan Trang and Truong Minh Tam in Hanoi, Tran Thi Nga and Truong Minh Huong in Ha Nam province, Pham Minh Hoang in Ho Chi Minh City and Chu Manh Son in Nghe An, have been attacked by plainclothes agents and thugs during past few months.

Mr. Dung, Mr. Thuy and Mr. Phuong were also beaten by policemen in Nghe An in July when they went to a local prison to pick up Mr. Trinh Ba Khiem, a land petitioner wrongly imprisoned on fabricated charges of conducting public disorders.

On October 15, three plainclothes policemen in Nghe An province’s Dien Chau district attacked local pro-democracy advocate Tran Duc Thach, breaking his motorbike and robbing his bag with two cell phones inside.