LIV co-founder and co-director, Trinh Huu Long, was cited in Southeast Asia Globe’s May 27, 2022 feature article titled, “Deadly confessions, the hidden abuse by Vietnam’s police,” written by Govi Snell, that tackles the culture of violence, brutality, and impunity prevalent in this organization.
Regarding Vietnam’s police, he states that police brutality is a common experience among all Vietnamese citizens, whether they experience it directly or indirectly. He also notes that the police force, as a whole, is above reprimands or sanctions.
He claims that the issue with Vietnam’s police is systemic in nature. Trinh Huu Long states, “The problem goes beyond [the] individual conduct of the police.” He adds, “The [Vietnam’s] justice system’s design almost always guarantees police brutality: no independent judiciary, no independent oversight from the Congress, the media, [civil society,] and detention centres are under the supervision of the very state organ that investigates crimes: the Ministry of Public Security.”
The remainder of the article discusses other irregularities and abuses committed by Vietnam’s police forces, such as the use of various forms of torture to quickly force confessions, the targeted imprisonment of activists for “spreading anti-state propaganda,” and the concealment of the deaths of individuals under police custody. The article also highlights the inaction of the Ministry of Public Service and the Vietnamese government, as a whole.
Also mentioned is the case of Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, or “Mother Mushroom,” as she is known internationally. She released a report in 2014 titled “Stop police killing citizens” which contained information about 31 deaths that occurred under police custody. In 2016, she was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for “conducting propaganda against the state” before being extradited to the United States two years later.
Vietnam’s police forces continue to operate with impunity, and even though some individual police officers have been reprimanded for their actions, large-scale change is not expected to happen anytime soon.