Officials investigated for roughing up man in central Vietnam

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Authorities in the south-central province of Binh Thuan are investigating a local police officer and three militiamen for allegedly maltreating a man in a videotaped incident that showed up and began spreading online on March 8.

Dao Xuan Do, 51, a resident of Ma Lam Town in Ham Thuan Bac District, the man being mistreated on the one-and-a-half minute video clip, told Thanh Nien over the phone that the incident took place December 8 of last year, but that it was only recently that he had been summoned by local police to discuss it.

"That day [December 8], I drank wine, but not much. I broke some bottles since I was angry with a neighbor who often laid cow feces in front of my house. And then they [the police and militiamen] handcuffed me to lead me to the police station.

"I begged the militiamen to allow me go to the toilet but they refused. [They] hit and pushed me onto the motorbike, and then threw me onto the street," said Do.

The video clip shows a half-naked Do wearing only a pair of blue shorts, tell the police he was willing to go to the police station, but simply wanted to be allowed to go to the toilet first.

At that point, one of the militiamen grabbed Do's legs and pulled them upward. Holding the handcuffed man upside down, the militiaman dropped Do, causing him to fall and strike his head on the street.

The police officer can be seen about to remove the handcuffs at the end of the clip.

Ngo Duy Nhan, head of Ma Lam Town's Department of Propaganda and Education identified the militiaman from the clip as Thong Minh Anh and the police officer as Sergeant-Major Phan Van Hoa.

A source told Thanh Nien that Anh had made headlines in local newspapers for assaulting citizens when he was on duty.

"Those images are very offensive," said Huynh Van Ti, the Binh Thuan Party chief.

Nguyen Thanh Dat, chairman of the People's Committee of Ham Thuan Bac District , said his office is awaiting reports on the case from those involved.

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