Couple may face heavier punishment for tortures

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Police in the southern province of Ca Mau are considering seeking charges with heavier punishment range, up to suspended sentence, against a married couple for torturing a 14-year-old boy for over a year.


With extensive physical damage covering over 66 percent of Nguyen Hoang Anh, Huynh Thanh Giang and his wife, were first pressed with charges of "abusing others" and "deliberately injuring others" punishable by jail terms of between 3-15 years.


However, as the couple imposed cruel tortures on the boy, causing critical injuries, for a long time, police are considering seeking the same charges against them but with heavier punishment ranging from 10 years in jail to suspended sentence, said Dam Hoang Vu, head of Ca Mau Province's People Procuracy.


Giang and Thom were taken into custody after local people in Phu Hiep Hamlet reported tortures to police late last month.


Anh, who worked for the couple's shrimp farm, was then admitted to hospital for examinations.


The boy told police he was often hit with hammers and oars, poured with hot water, pressed with hot iron, and strangled with rope among other tortures.


Investigators found during his employment starting in September 2008, Anh was tortured at least 30 times.


The farm's workers, Luu Van Khanh and Lam Ly Huynh, were also arrested and may face charges of "abusing others" for having allegedly abused Anh.


When they were exposed last week, the details of torture shocked and angered the public and raised questions about the governance of authorities under whom the abuse happened undetected for such a long time.


This prompted Ca Mau's authorities to send warnings to leaders of Phu Hiep and Ngoc Chanh Commune, which manages the hamlet.

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