04/26/2019, 14.44
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Vietnamese shocked after party official rapes eight-year-old girl

by Peter Thanh

The man was identified thanks to Mạng xã hội, a social networking service that defends citizens from government abuses. Nguyễn Hữu Linh, 61, was vice president of the People's Procuratorate in Đà Nẵng City. About 2,000 children are victims of violence every year in Vietnam. In 2018, Vietnamese authorities brought to trial about 500 out of 1,300 defendants.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – The rape of an eight-year-old girl by a Party official girl has sent shockwaves across the country and started to shed some light on the problem of sexual abuse of children.

The latest data from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs show that some 2,000 children are victims of sexual violence each year. For experts, this is just "the tip of the iceberg".

In 2018, government agencies reported 1,500 cases. In 43, the children were killed as a result of violence committed by adults, whilst in another 425, they suffered "cruel abuse".

In accordance with the law, Vietnamese authorities have taken 500 people out of 1,300 defendants to court. Defendants have been tried based on "local regulations", as well as "internal processes" or "negotiations with the families of the victims".

Some 112 defendants were forced to pay paltry fines. Last month for example, an official with the national government was caught abusing a girl in an elevator. For this, he was fined only 200,000 Vietnamese dongs (US$ 8.60).

Another case also sparked outrage in public opinion. On the evening of 1 April, a girl of about eight was a victim of sexual violence in the elevator of a residential building in Ho Chi Minh City.

The CCTV (pictured) shows the little girl escaping as soon as the doors open; panicked, she staggers out. Meanwhile, the man who raped her looks at his mobile phone as if nothing had happened.

Like last month’s case, the culprit is a government official. Nguyễn Hữu Linh, 61, was also fined just US$ 8.60.

The man, a former vice president of the People's Procuratorate in Đà Nẵng City, said that his actions "are normal in Vietnamese society". His identity was revealed thanks to Mạng xã hội, a social networking service that defends citizens from government abuses.

As a result, several residents in the building where the violence took place filed a complaint and asked the authorities to prosecute the accused under article 146C of the 2016 Penal Code, which bans sexual relations between adults and minors under the age of 16.

Last Sunday afternoon, the Hồ Chí Minh City People's Procuratorate issued a precautionary measure. "In order for the authorities to investigate his obscene behavior, the defendant will not be able to leave his residence in the Hải Châu district, Đà Nẵng City."

Although investigations are underway, there is a widespread fear among ordinary Vietnamese that the accused, a party official (Ông Cán Bộ này), will get a light sentence.

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