Hanoi urged to speed up probes into suspected child sexual abuse

By Quang Chien   March 13, 2017 | 09:00 pm GMT+7

A 34-year-old man in the capital was accused of molesting an 8-year-old girl several times.

The Vietnamese government has instructed Hanoi authorities to expedite their ongoing investigations into a case of suspected child sexual abuse that has rocked the capital.

The municipal government was asked to properly handle the case and report back to the central government within March, a government statement Monday cited Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh as saying.

Local media reported that a mother in Hoang Mai District has accused a 34-year-old man of molesting her 8-year-old daughter several times. The name of the man was withheld.

On March 10, Hoang Mai police said they had not obtained enough evidence to warrant criminal investigation into the case. The authorities will need another two months to further look into it.

Van, the mother, told VnExpress she was extremely indignant with the police’s findings, saying she had already sent written queries to several law enforcement agencies at Hanoi and government levels.

According to Van, on the evening of January 8, the girl was molested by the man, also her neighbor, when she and some of her friends were playing near her house. 

Police summoned the man on January 11 but did not arrest him.

In another move, on Sunday President Tran Dai Quang had asked the Ministry of Public Security and the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the top prosecutors' office, to speed up investigations into another child sexual abuse in the southern beach town of Vung Tau.

In Vietnam, more than 8,200 cases of child abuse came to light between 2011 and 2015, including 5,300 cases of sexual abuse, according to official figures released a year ago.

In most cases the perpetrators were people having authority over the children, like teachers, school security guards and relatives.

Vietnam usually allows up to three months for most criminal investigations. Serious cases that require more time can be extended, but only with permission.

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