Family of Vietnamese Soldier Holds Funeral After Authorities Agree to Investigate His Death

Tran Duc Do was found hanging from a tree, but bruises suggest he was beaten to death, family said.
2021-07-01
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Family of Vietnamese Soldier Holds Funeral After Authorities Agree to Investigate His Death Funeral for Vietnamese military serviceman Tran Duc Do in a file photo
State Media

The family of a recently deceased Vietnamese military serviceman held a funeral for him Thursday, but only after local authorities agreed to investigate the cause of his death.

Tran Duc Do, 19, was found Monday hanging from an acacia tree about 50 meters from a military training facility in the northern province of Thai Nguyen, sometime after he excused himself to go to the bathroom at about 1:45 p.m., the Ministry of National Defense told local media.

Do was then rushed to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m.

Authorities said the cause of death was suicide, but Do’s family suspected foul play.

Tran Duc Hoi, Do’s father, told local television channel VTC that his son’s body had many unusual bruises, and that he might have been beaten to death.

Social media videos circulated on June 29 and 30 showed Do’s family demanding an investigation. Some of the videos showed people delivering a large freezer to Do’s house in nearby Bac Ninh province, to preserve the corpse as evidence.

The family initially refused to bury him until they were sure there would be a thorough investigation.

In a video livestreamed Wednesday from Do’s house, Do’s mother met with local authorities and military representatives to request the investigation.

State media reported Thursday that four agencies will participate in the investigation: the Criminal Investigation Division of Military Region 1, the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry of Defense, the Thai Nguyen police, and the Military Institute of Forensic Medicine.

The local Thanh Nien newspaper reported that the head of Military Region 1’s Propaganda and Education Department, Nguyen Xuan Thin, said that statements from the military had been distorted on social media sites and forums in recent days.

Col. Thin also said that hundreds of people used the excuse of supporting Do and his family to create trouble and make livestream videos so they could get famous on social media.

“According to our assessments, someone there is taking advantage of the incident to incite the public,” Thin said.

“We are collecting the distorted and untrue information to report to the Central Propaganda and Education Committee and the Ministry of Information and Communications,” he said.

According to World Population Review, Vietnam has a suicide rate of 7 per 100,000 people, well below the world average of 8.22 and less than half the rate of the United States’ 16.1. 

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Anna Vu. Written in English by Eugene Whong.

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