Tense Confrontation as Human Rights Lawyers Challenge Vietnamese Police

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A confrontation has escalated between police and human rights lawyers, who have taken up the case of a teenager who died from injuries sustained in police custody.

The lawyers suffered a violent assault, and one was temporarily detained, after they tried to represent the mother of the youth, 17-year-old Do Dang Du, who was allegedly beaten and tortured by police before he died.

The police say Du was beaten by a cell mate in an argument over washing up.

The lawyers, Tran Thu Nam and Le Luan, allege that a policeman was involved in the attack on them, and they have tried to press criminal charges against him and his accomplices.

They suffered cuts and bruises to the head in the assault by eight masked men, who had pursued their car on motorcycles, after they had held a meeting with Du’s mother.

They said they had been seeking information for a report to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

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