Families of death row inmates worry after inmate dies after release — Radio Free Asia
A former Vietnamese death row inmate has died six years after his name was cleared and he was released. Huynh Van Nen, 60, died of hepatitis and pneumonia at Vung Tau City Hospital on September 13. His death has raised concern among the families of other convicted prisoners as their health is threatened by the harsh living conditions in Vietnamese prisons.
News of Nen’s death was posted on Facebook by Nguyen Than, former chairman of the people’s committee of Tan Minh commune in Ham Tan district of Binh Thuan province.
He worked alongside Nen’s father for 20 years to seek justice.
Huynh Van Nen is known as the “prisoner of the century” because he was convicted in two consecutive murder cases: the death of a neighbor Nguyen Thi Bong in Binh Thuan province and the murder of Duong Thi My, in 1993 for which Nen and nine of his relatives were convicted. He was imprisoned in 2008 and was only released in 2016 after serving more than 17 years.
The Binh Thuan Judicial Agency publicly admitted wrongdoing and apologized to Nen and his family. He received 12 billion VND ($500,000) in compensation for the time he was unjustly imprisoned.
News of Nen’s death after only a few years of freedom has made Nguyen Truong Chinh’s family extremely worried.
Chinh is the father of death row inmate Nguyen Van Chuong, who claimed his innocence after being found guilty of being the main culprit in the 2007 murder of a police major in Hai Phong.
“Through the example of Mr. Huynh Van Nen, we see how harsh Vietnamese communist prisons are,” he told RFA. “It’s so serious that as long as my son is in prison, we are still extremely worried. Death row inmates awaiting execution like my son have a leg chained day and night, so their physical and mental health suffers a lot. .
On the morning of September 14, 2022, Chinh and his wife went to government agencies, the National Assembly and the Party Central Committee to complain about the injustice suffered by their son, but were detained by the police who took them away and released them later. .
In the case for which Chuong was convicted, Major Nguyen Van Sinh of the Dong Hai Ward Police Station in the Hai An District of Hai Phong City was killed while on patrol. Chuong and four other people have been charged with her murder. He was sentenced to death while the other four were sentenced between 12 months and life imprisonment.
The death row inmate and his family have filed numerous petitions, asking all levels of the administration to reconsider the sentence. Chuong alleges that he was beaten and coerced by the investigator when the testimonies of the other suspects contradicted each other. The mark of the weapon described and the marks on the victim’s body were inconsistent in their statements.
Lawyer Le Van Hoa served as the head of the Central Home Affairs Committee’s Unjust Punishment Inspectorate from 2013 to 2014 and was responsible for reviewing many unjust cases, including the case of Nguyen Van Chuong.
Mr. Hoa said that after studying Chuong’s case, his team realized that the death sentence against Nguyen Van Chuong was full of holes.
“There is no sufficient basis to accuse Nguyen Van Chuong of being the mastermind as well as the perpetrator of the death of Police Major Nguyen Van Sinh,” he said. “Our judgment was rendered based on the testimony of the defendant and the results of the examination of the scene.
“For this reason, in order to ensure that the right person [is sentenced] for the crime to be just and the truth to be objective, we had proposed that the central commission of internal affairs consult the permanent commission of the National Assembly to orient and re-examine this affair.
For unknown reasons, the Central Committee for Internal Affairs has stopped considering the case and the death penalty remains in force, he added.
Nen was one of many people who were wrongfully convicted in serious cases such as murder, robbery and rape. Those exonerated include Han Duc Long and Nguyen Thanh Chan.
In addition to death row inmate Nguyen Van Chuong, who pleaded not guilty, there were others like Ho Duy Hai and Le Van Manh who also claimed that they did not kill people even though they had been sentenced.
Ho Duy Hai was convicted by three courts, including the Supreme People’s Court Council of Judges, as the man who killed two female postal workers, Nguyen Thi Anh Hong and Nguyen Thi Thu Van, at Cau Voi Post Office in Nhi Thanh commune, Thu Thua district, Long An province, on the evening of January 13, 2008.
Hai, born in 1985, was sentenced to death for murder.
The investigation violated the law in numerous instances, including destroying evidence, altering exhibits, omitting forensic evidence such as fingerprints and bloodstains at the scene, removing case of evidence in favor of the accused and ignoring the assertions of the accused that he was not guilty.
During the session of the Court of Cassation in May 2020, the Judicial Council of the Supreme People’s Court rejected the Attorney General’s request for the cancellation of the conviction in the first instance and the appeal judgments for a new investigation and l cancellation of Hai’s death sentence.