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Lawyers meet detained victims of Vietnam land clash

Sons of activist killed by police in commune dispute need medicines and support
Lawyers meet detained victims of Vietnam land clash

Activists offer money and milk to Du Thi Thanh (right) and her family on March 2. (Photo courtesy of Duong Truong’s Facebook)

Published: March 04, 2020 10:26 AM GMT
Updated: March 04, 2020 10:29 AM GMT

Two lawyers who have met with three out of 27 detained victims of a fatal clash with Vietnamese police said they suffered severe wounds and need material support from their relatives.

Lawyer Le Van Hoa said on March 3 that he and other lawyers attended a police interrogation of Le Dinh Cong and Le Dinh Chuc about their involvement in the land clash between farmers and police at Dong Tam Commune on the outskirts of Hanoi on Jan. 9.

Cong and Chuc are detained in a prison run by the Public Security Department of Hanoi City. Both are sons of 84-year-old Le Dinh Kinh, the leader of a local protest movement against corruption, who was killed by police in the clash.

“Chuc is still alive, not dead as rumors spread,” lawyer Hoa said on Facebook. The detainee suffers from partial loss of memory and paralysis of his left body after his head was wounded during the violence. “Chuc said his paralysis has signs of recovery,” the lawyer said.

Hoa said Cong could move normally and bruises on his face had disappeared. Shortly after the clash, Cong was seen with bruises on his face while he confessed to his crime on national television.

The lawyer said family members should ask for police permission to send medicine to treat the detainees’ illnesses and improve their health.

Lawyer Ha Huy Son said he witnessed the police interrogation of Bui Viet Hieu, another detained victim of the clash.

Son said Hieu, 77, was arrested and underwent major operations for his wounded duodenum and large intestine at a military hospital from Jan. 9-17. His broken foot was put in a plaster cast. The lawyer said Hieu, a war invalid, wears a colostomy bag.

Son said on Facebook that the detainee had received 1.5 million dong (US$64) and clothes from his family. Hieu had asked his family to send him another 2 million dong and clothes.

This was the first time the lawyers had met with their clients since they were arrested. The detainees’ relatives have not been informed about their condition yet.

Police arrested 27 people relating to the fatal dispute over 50 hectares of farmland in which four people including three police officers were killed.

The detainees are accused of “homicide, restoring weapons and fighting personnel on duty.”

On March 3, Du Thi Thanh, Kinh’s wife, sent a complaint letter to Public Security Minister To Lam to denounce the police killing her husband and brutally beating and detaining her five relatives.

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