In Vietnam, cops accused of torturing suspects in dog-thieves murder case

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The Party unit of a commune in the northern province of Bac Giang has called on the provincial police to probe charges of brutality by commune police while interrogating some local residents about their alleged killing of two dog thieves.

La Tuan Khuong, chief of Danh Thuong 2 hamlet in Danh Thang Commune, Hiep Hoa District, reported to the Party unit that on August 27 a large crowd of local people had chased after and beat up two men for allegedly stealing a dog.

The thieves fought with with electric rods but were thrashed. The police arrived to find one of them dead and the other dying.

The men were identified as Dang Van Thinh, 41, a local, and Dang Ba Dong, 37, of Xuan Cam Commune.

Later the same day the commune police summoned 13 people for questioning and held them for several days.

The 13 told the hamlet chief that officers kept them handcuffed, interrogated them for four to five hours a day, and prevented them from sleeping or going to the toilet.

Related to the attack, hundreds of residents in the Danh Thang Commune signed a petition saying they had been involved in attacking the two dog thieves, and sent it to provincial agencies.

The fatal attack is one of several that have occurred in northern Vietnam in the last few months.

Tong Ngoc Long, police chief of Hiep Hoa District, told Thanh Nien News the law stipulates just a fine for stealing dogs, and this makes dog thieves brazen.

But the public is outraged by the thefts because they consider dogs part of their family, he said.

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