Eight men allegedly assaulted the lawyers soon after they met with the family of a teenager who died in police custody
Hanoi police have started investigating a case in which a group of men attacked two lawyers representing the family of a teenager who had died in police custody last month.
Colonel Duong Van Giap of the Hanoi Police Department told Thanh Nien on Friday that the police decided to launch the criminal investigation at the request of the lawyers, Le Van Luan, 30, and Tran Thu Nam, 39, although their injuries were not serious.
Under the Penal Code, police only launch criminal investigations on “battery” charge if the victim sustains serious injuries.
On Tuesday, Hanoi police told the press they had identified eight men in the attack, which happened after the lawyers left the home of their client in a village in Hanoi on November 3.
The client was Do Thi Mai, the mother of 17-year-old Do Dang Du, who was allegedly beaten to death by a cellmate at a Hanoi detention center on October 4.
The police claimed Du was killed by Vu Van Binh, who shared the room for underage suspects at Detention Center No. 3 in Chuong My District. But his family believed he had been tortured.
The lawyers met Mai to discuss the case.
When they came out at 3:30 p.m. and drove off in a car, eight masked men on motorbikes stopped the vehicle and began to attack them.
The lawyers stopped the car and tried to flee on foot, but the attackers chased after them and assaulted them.
The two suffered facial injuries.
The lawyers told the media they believed one of the attackers was a local police officer. But Hanoi police denied the accusation.
They claimed the eight locals, aged 21-38, attacked the lawyers because they were angry that the lawyers drove too fast and kicked up dust while driving past them.