Nguyen Van Luu, 23, is now in deep coma, after being beaten by an angry mob who accused him of stealing dogs. Photo: Nguyen Dung
A group of people in the central province of Ha Tinh have been accused of beating a man into deep coma after they suspected him of attempting to steal local dogs, police said on Tuesday.
Bui Viet Hung, deputy police chief in Hong Linh Commune, said they were informed about the attack on Monday night.
When arriving at the scene, police found Nguyen Van Luu, 23, being beaten.
Police also found a burned down motorbike besides a stick and a lasso that were often used by thieves to catch dogs.
Luu was rushed to a hospital in nearby Nghe An Province with serious injuries.
Doctors told Thanh Nien that he had a severe loss of blood and brain trauma.
Police said that Luu and another man rode a motorbike into the commune that day, causing suspicion among local people. When they attacked the men, Luu’s companion managed to flee the scene.
Dog theft is rampant in Vietnam, where many people view the animals’ meat as good, if not healthful, food.
The problem has become fatal in recent years with the rise of mob justice, as communities, who are offended by the fact thieves are given no criminal punishments other than cash fines, decided to take the matter into their own hands.
Many dog thieves were beaten, sometimes burned, to death by angry mobs. But in some cases, attackers suffered casualties when armed thieves fought back.
Under Vietnamese laws, dog thieves only face criminal charge when the stolen dogs are valued at VND2 million (around US$100) or above – the threshold for criminal charges.