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Cablegate: Prison Beatings

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


2002HANOI02607 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTO2614

PAGE 01 HANOI 02607 290740Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 MEDE-00 EB-00 ED-01 FBIE-00 UTED-00
VC-00 HHS-01 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00
VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01
PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 STR-00
TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02
G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /010W
------------------FFC129 290741Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7947
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE

UNCLAS HANOI 002607

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV AND DRL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV SOCI VM HUMANR
SUBJECT: PRISON BEATINGS

REF: A. HANOI 2596 B. HANOI 2407

1. (U) SUMMARY AND COMMENT: ACCORDING TO UNUSUAL MEDIA
REPORTS, HOANG TIEN PRISON IN THE NORTHERN PROVINCE OF HAI
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 02607 290740Z
DUONG (WHICH EMBOFFS VISITED IN SEPTEMBER -- REF B), HAS
EXPERIENCED THREE SERIOUS INCIDENTS INVOLVING GUARDS AND
PRISONERS BETWEEN LATE AUGUST AND MID-SEPTEMBER. IT REMAINS
A MYSTERY WHY A FEW ELEMENTS OF THE MEDIA HAVE PUBLICIZED
THESE INCIDENTS AND THE SUBSEQUENT INVESTIGATION BY THE
SUPREME PEOPLE'S PROCURACY, AS WELL AS WHY THE GVN SELECTED
THIS PARTICULAR PRISON FOR THE FIRST-EVER VISIT TO A
VIETNAMESE PRISON BY A US EMBASSY POLITICAL OFFICER. END
SUMMARY AND COMMENT.

2. (U) ON THE MORNING OF AUGUST 26, TWO HOANG TIEN GUARDS
STABBED INMATE NGUYEN TAI LONG, AFTER HE ASKED FOR A
TEMPORARY REST FROM DAILY LABOR DUE TO FATIGUE RELATED TO
HIS AIDS INFECTION. LATER THAT DAY, AFTER HIS CONDITION
DETERIORATED, LONG WAS SENT TO A LOCAL MEDICAL CLINIC, AND
THEN TO THE PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL, WHERE HE RECOVERED.

3. (U) ON SEPTEMBER 10, INMATE PHAM VAN DZUNG DIED AT
12:30 P.M., AFTER TWO GUARDS HAD STABBED HIM REPEATEDLY,
TIED HIM UP, AND LEFT HIM EXPOSED TO THE SUN FOR TWO HOURS
ON THE DECK OF A BARGE IN 34 CELSIUS (OVER 100 DEGREE
FAHRENHEIT) HEAT. DZUNG HAD BEGUN A SIX-YEAR SENTENCE IN
MAY 2002. THE GUARDS' PUNISHMENT CAME AFTER DZUNG HAD TWICE
ASKED FOR PERMISSION TO REST FROM HIS LABOR THAT DAY OF
UNLOADING ROCKS FROM THE BARGE ON A RIVER NEAR THE PRISON.
HE DIED ON THE WAY TO THE DISTRICT HOSPITAL.

4. (U) ON THE AFTERNOON OF SEPTEMBER 22, THE DEAD BODY OF
INMATE DUONG VAN THU WAS FOUND HANGING FROM A TREE IN THE
CENTER OF THE PRISON. THU WAS SERVING A SENTENCE OF FOUR
AND A HALF YEARS FOR NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING. THU REPORTEDLY
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 02607 290740Z
COMMITTED SUICIDE BECAUSE HE WAS UPSET THAT HIS FAMILY HAD
NOT PAID THE FINES UNDER HIS "BRACKET PENALTIES," WHICH
MIGHT HAVE QUALIFIED HIM FOR A SPECIAL AMNESTY ON THE
OCCASION OF THE VIETNAMESE NATIONAL DAY. THE MEDIA AND
INVESTIGATORS HAVE RAISED QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW HE WAS ABLE TO
HANG HIMSELF IN SUCH A PUBLIC SITE, AND HOW HE HAD EVER
LEARNED ABOUT HIS "POSSIBLE" ELIGIBILITY FOR AMNESTY, WHICH
IS SUPPOSED TO BE CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.

5. (U) FOLLOWING THE DEATHS OF DZUNG AND THU, OFFICIALS
FROM THE SUPREME PEOPLE'S PROCURACY CONDUCTED AN
INVESTIGATION AT HOANG TIEN; ONLY THEN DID THEY LEARN ABOUT
THE AUGUST INCIDENT, ACCORDING TO MEDIA. ONE OFFICIAL FROM
THE SUPREME PEOPLE'S PROCURACY, IN COMMENTS TO LOCAL
REPORTERS, ADMITTED SYSTEMATIC BEATINGS AND OVERTAXING OF
INMATES AT HOANG TIEN PRISON, WHICH HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN
LISTED AMONG THE MOST MERITORIOUS PRISONS UNDER THE
MANAGEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY.
BURGHARDT

UNCLASSIFIED

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