A group of police officers bring down an alleged hooligan after a national football match in Hanoi in 2009
Police in the northern province of Thai Nguyen are investigating allegations of police brutality after a man allegedly sustained severe brain injuries while in custody.
Le Xuan Luc, 60, required surgery for an acute subdural hematoma but doctors said Saturday his life was still in danger and that he was being assisted by a respirator.
His family said Luc had been involved in a neighborhood conflict and was summoned to the Ha Thuong Commune police station in Dai Tu District on the morning of June 18.
They family was called around 90 minutes later to come to the commune medical center to bring him to hospital.
Le Xuan Quynh, 29, a relative, said when they came to the medical center, they saw that Luc had many head injuries.
"He was unconscious and kept vomiting," Quynh said.
Ngo Tuan Hai, the district police chief, said initial investigations found that Luc was not hospitalized due to police's beatings.
Hai said officers are still working to investigate what caused his injuries.
The family and other eyewitnesses said Luc was healthy and completely conscious when he was taken away by the police.
In related news, a group of traffic police in the southern province of Long An is catching flak for beating a violator that ran away, according to a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper report.
Locals said Nguyen Van Nhut, 19, was beaten until he passed out after officers caught up with him.
They said one officer beat Nhut's head with a nightstick, breaking his helmet, while others punched and kicked him, and only stopped when surrounding people begged them to.
His father Nguyen Van Duyen said he went to the police station after hearing what happened, but the guards did not let him in until he screamed and was joined by people who had witnessed the beating.
Nhut has been hospitalized.
Le Thanh Trung, the police chief of Kien Tuong Commune, promised to look into the matter and impose due punishment if necessary.
Vietnamese cops found themselves embroiled in brutality scandals on a regular basis.
A court in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan sentenced a former cop to five years in jail last June for using corporal punishment that led to the death of a theft suspect while in police custody.
Two of his colleagues in Ho Chi Minh City were dismissed for doing the same thing to a sex crime suspect last December.
In the south-central province of Phu Yen one cop was arrested and another prohibited from leaving his neighborhood for allegedly being involved in the death of a robbery suspect.
Local media have also featured several other cases that involved proven police beatings or arrestees coming home with injuries, but the cases were dismissed due to lack of evidence.
According to Vietnam's Penal Code, the use of corporal punishment by police during an investigation is subject to six months to three years in jail, and between two to 12 years if the violence causes serious consequences.
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