Vietnam fires police investigators after alleged child rape victim kills herself

By Phuc Hung   November 29, 2017 | 11:46 am GMT+7

The two officers had dropped the case, but the teenage girl’s death prompted the suspect’s arrest months later.

A senior police investigator and his subordinate in the southern province of Ca Mau have both been fired after failing to pursue a rape case that resulted in the alleged victim committing suicide.

The Ministry of Public Security dismissed Colonel Tran Hong Loc and Lieutenant Colonel Do Tan Dat from Ca Mau Police’s investigation division on Tuesday.

The duo, who both are Communist Party members, have also received an official warning from the Party, which has four modes of punishment: reprimand, warning, demotion and expulsion.

According to Ca Mau Police, Loc and Dat started investigating a sexual abuse case last year in which a 57-year-old man was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl multiple times.

After failing to gather enough evidence over several months against the accused, named Huu Be, they proposed to drop the case, which was approved by the province’s police and prosecutors.

Soon after the decision, the girl was found unconscious in her home surrounded by sleeping pills in February. She died the next day in hospital.

The schoolgirl had said that she did not want to live anymore after seeing the shame she had put her family through, the family said.

The death prompted Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to order the police to pick up the investigation in April.

Be was arrested in September.

Having sex with a person under 13 years old is ruled as child rape in Vietnam, a crime punishable by death.

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 familiar with the children, such as teachers, school security officials, relatives and neighbors.