Soldier dies while on duty, family suspects that he was beaten to death

Screenshot of the funeral of soldier Tran Duc Do

A soldier died suddenly on June 28 while on military service, the family suspected he had been beaten to death.

From June 29, on the social network Facebook, many photos and videos of soldier Tran Duc Do (19 years old), born in Da Hoi area, Chau Khe ward, Tu Son town, Bac Ninh province, died while doing military service in Battalion 4, Company 14, Military University of Military Region 1.

In the videos posted, the soldier’s family said that Do was killed so it demanded an investigation.

An unnamed woman on the video says:

Before June 25, my nephew called me, only 30 seconds, he said that the commander often beats him…”.

It took many hours for his unit to inform our family after he passed away” she alleges. “When we arrived, his body was cold.”

On June 30, the state-controlled media quoted information from the Ministry of Defense determining that Mr. Tran Duc Do had died after being taken to the hospital for emergency treatment on the afternoon of June 28.

According to information from the Ministry of National Defense, from 13:45 to 14:00 on June 28, when the unit was preparing for training, soldier Tran Duc Do asked the commander to go to the restroom because of a stomachache.

At about 14:20, when Do did not return, the commander sent three other soldiers to seek him and they found soldier Tran Duc Do hanging on an acacia tree behind the hilltop, away from the unit’s training site about 50 meters.

The unit took Do to the hospital for an emergency, but Do did not survive.

However, in an interview with VTC, the victim’s father, Mr. Tran Duc Hoi, had other information. He said:

Around 5 pm on June 28, I received a phone call from the person claiming to be the head of Do’s unit who called to tell our family that he had a stroke at the training ground. About 10 minutes later, they called again to say that my child was in urgent need of an emergency at Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Hospital, so my family immediately went up there.

Halfway through, I received a phone call saying that my child had a conflict, but he committed suicide by hanging himself, which made us very confused. When my family arrived, the people of the army did not let us see him right away, they just took us around, when I saw the body of my son, he was cold, stiff, and purple.”

Mr. Hoi also told VTC that Do’s body had many injuries such as ribs, the chest was swollen and purple, the back was marked with tight and purple ropes, many bruises all over the body.

VietNamNet quoted Lieutenant General Duong Dinh Thong – Secretary of the Party Committee, Political Commissar of Military Zone 1 as asserting that, according to initial assessment, there was no fight leading to death.

The Ministry of Defense also said it is investigating the incident and will have information soon.

Soldiers being beaten while performing their military service are not new in Vietnam. In 2004, state media also published information that six soldiers beat another soldier to death because they believed that this soldier violated military discipline and should be punished. The Military Criminal Investigation Agency investigated and proposed the Military Procuracy of Army Corps 1 to prosecute these people for intentionally causing injury. (Translated)