Cops accused of torturing student during interrogation

TN News

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Police in the northern province of Thanh Hoa said Wednesday they are investigating a local man's accusations of being tortured by police during an interrogation, which prompted him to jump off a building and sustain serious injuries.


Le Van Hung, a 21-year-old student in Thanh Hoa City's Quang Tam Commune, said in a written complaint that he was napping in a rented apartment at 1 p.m. on March 23 when he heard another student complain about losing a laptop.


Hung said he walked out of the room to see what happened and then went back.


Around an hour later, Quang Tam Commune police summoned Hung to the police station as he was suspected of stealing the laptop.


There, police seized Hung's wallet and his mobile phone.


According to Hung, officers pulled his hair and beat him up whenever he replied "I don't know" to their questions.


An officer named Binh ordered Hung to take off his shoes and put his feet under lifted table legs, the complaint says.


Hung dashed out of the room and jumped from the second floor of the building. After 4-meter fall, Hung was injured and was rushed to hospital.


Dr Tran Van Thiet of Thanh Hoa Province General Hospital said Hung had serious injuries on his head and face and two broken ribs.


He also broke his heel bone and delved his spinal column, the doctor said.


Hung is still being treated at the hospital, unable to walk.


Hung's family sent his complaint to Thanh Hoa City Police Department but they have not received any reply.


Colonel Le Van Nghiem, the department's chief, told Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper that the culprit of the theft had been arrested, and that he was another young man, not Hung.


"Hung must have been too scared during interrogation so he jumped off the building," he said.


"We will strictly punish any police officers found with wrongdoings."


Nguyen Quang Chau, police chief of Quang Tam Commune, said that the incident happened unexpectedly and that the officers involved had worked in accordance with due process and regulations.

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