Worker gets public apology after police beating in Vietnam

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Commune authorities in southern province of Binh Duong have publicly apologized to a construction worker who was beaten unconscious by a local police officer on October 26.


The People's Committee of Khanh Binh Commune in the province's Tan Uyen District apologized officially on December 2nd to Truong Cong Toan, a 40-year-old Nghe An native.


Toan had earlier said in a complaint that he and other workers at a construction site in Khanh Binh Commune were involved in a fight on October 26 arising from certain misunderstandings.


The commune's police arrived at the place soon after and told all the workers to come to the station and file a report on the incident.


At the station, Toan said, he was beaten by a police official and another man not wearing a police uniform. During the beating, he fell and his head hit the wall, causing him to bleed profusely.


He begged them not to hit him but he was beaten until he lost consciousness, Toan said.


Nguyen Le Doan, the commune's police official in charge of the case, told VnExpress that he was in a room next door handling another case when the incident happened.


Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, Khanh Binh's police chief, said he had assumed that Toan had been attacked by some thugs because similar incidents had happened earlier.


However, investigations found that it was Nguyen Thanh Sang, a police officer, who had beaten Toan.


Sang has reportedly admitted in his report that he failed to control himself and beat up Toan while questioning him about the earlier incident.


Thai Thi Thao, deputy chairwoman of Khanh Binh People's Committee, said Toan had requested that his denouncement of Sang is revoked, but the local administration is considering punitive measures against the policeman. Authorities have said that there was only one person, Sang, who beat up Toan.


"We had reported the case to higher ups asking for instructions on further action against Sang," she said, adding that the commune People's Committee and Party unit had rebuked him for his irresponsibility in the case.


The Khanh Binh People's Committee has given Toan VND21 million (US$1,000) in compensation for Sang's actions.


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