(VNRN) – A woman, accused of fraud, died while undergoing interrogation by the police at the station in Binh Phuoc province on March 18.
The police reported finding Bui Thi Huong, 41, hung “on the door” by her windbreaker after she took a restroom break during interrogation.
Huong was alleged by police to pose as a journalist, approaching people who had helped the communist forces during the war, doing reports on how they had not received government subsidies. During the interviews, she allegedly convinced the subject to bring out their jewelry and money, then stole them.
Huong was arrested and brought to the police station for questioning.
The police claimed that during interrogation, Huong asked to go to the restroom. After twenty minutes, police say, Bui had not come back so police officer Nguyen Dinh Canh went to look for her and found Huong had hung herself on the administrative detention room door with her windbreaker.
Huong’s family, however, disputed the claim of fraud and said that Huong was a gold saleswoman. It was Huong’s family who alerted Vietnamese newspaper Phap Luat Thanh Pho that “Huong was out selling gold and she was arrested and now is dead.”
The Deputy Director of provincial police Colonel Tran Phuc Thang cleared the police of any wrongdoing. “After an initial investigation,” he said, “there are no signs to suggest that the suspect was beaten. The central forensic agency agreed with the investigating agency.”
Huong’s body was returned to the family for burial.
In recent years, there have been a marked increase in the number of reported cases of people dying in police custody, some with multiple and severe body bruises and others in unusual supposed “suicide” positions. In the first three months of this year alone, there have been three cases of suspects found dead at the police station.