Vietnamese Dies after One-week Detention for Brick Stealing Investigation, First Victim of Police Torture This Year

Relative of victim Hanh talked with Tuoi Tre newspaper reporter
Relative of victim Hanh talked with Tuoi Tre newspaper reporter

[themify_box style=”blue, comment, rounded” ]Mr. Hanh, 46, was arrested one week ago by Quy Hop police who suspected him to conduct a small number of brick. He was healthy when the police came to detain him, the family claimed.[/themify_box]

By Vu Quoc Ngu, January 15, 2016

A Vietnamese man in the central province of Nghe An has died in a local police detention facility one week after being arrested for investigation in his role in a brick stealing case, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Friday (http://tuoitre.vn/tin/phap-luat/20160115/lai-mot-nguoi-chet-khi-dua-den-trai-tam-giam/1038901.html).

The family of Mr. Dang Van Hanh from Quy Hop commune in Quy Hop district was informed by local authorities in early of Jan 15 to go to the district’s general hospital to take his body for burial.

Mr. Hanh, 46, was arrested one week ago by Quy Hop police who suspected him to conduct a small number of brick. He was healthy when the police came to detain him, the family claimed.

After the arrest, his family had no information about his situation, said his brother Dang Van Vinh.

Ms. Dang Thi Hoa, the younger sister of the victim said the family was not informed about Mr. Hanh’s transfer from the police detention facility to the hospital. The family was just noticed for his death, she said.

Speaking with a reporter of Tuoi Tre newspaper, Colonel Tran Sy Phang, head of the Nghi Kim detention facility which held Mr. Hanh, said Hanh was arrested and probed for property stealing on January 2.

At 8.30PM of January 14, Hanh was transferred from Quy Hop district police to the Nghi Kim detention facility, Phang said.

Upon his arrival, the facility medical staff found that his health was not good, and he had difficulties in breathing, Colonel Phang continued. He was transferred to the district General Hospital for urgent treatment but died on 0.15AM of the next day, Phang said.

The cause of his death is unclear and may be revealed after autopsy, he added.

The victim is a truck driver while his wife is trader. Their two sons are studying university in Hanoi.

Hanh is the first detainee died in police station this year.

In Vietnam where torture and other ill-treatment is systemic, many people died in police stations and detention facilities.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, 226 detainees and prisoners died in the period between October 2011 and September 2014.

Around twenty people died in police stations last year and dozens suffered severe injuries.

Police said illness and suicides were main causes of their deaths, however, their families believe that police torture is the key reason.

Few of Vietnamese policemen have been slightly disciplined for torturing suspects.

Vietnam adopted the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 2014.