EU opposes death sentence in Vietnamese murder trial

  • Vietnam
  • Friday, 18 Sep 2020

Farmers of Dong Tam village standing between police during the verdict in their trial over the deaths of three police officers and a farmer during a land dispute in Jan 9, at a court in Hanoi (Sept 14, 2020). - Vietnam News/ANN

HANOI, Sept 18 (dpa): The European Union stated its opposition on Friday to the use of "capital punishment in all its forms" following two death sentences being handed out at a Vietnamese murder trial this week.

"There is a large and growing consensus in the world against the use of the death penalty. The EU urges Vietnam to adopt a moratorium on its use, as a first step towards abolition," an EU spokesperson said in the statement.

A Hanoi court on Monday sentenced Le Dinh Cong and his brother Le Dinh Chuc to death for murdering police officers, with 27 others facing significant jail time.

"Reports about the conditions and proceedings of the trial also raise serious concerns.

"The EU and its member states strongly advocate for the rule of law and for the full right to a fair trial, as stipulated in Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is a signatory party," the EU statement continued.

Lawyer Ha Huy Son, who defended three people at the trial, told dpa: "Many situations described in the court were not made clear, contained contradictions ... or were not aligned with the facts."

The trial centred on an incident in early January between villagers and police in Dong Tam village on the outskirts of Hanoi where an airport is being built on farmland formerly claimed by the villagers.

On January 9, around 3,000 police raided the village at dawn. In the ensuing fighting, the village leader and three police officers were killed. - dpa
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