A Vietnamese YouTube content creator told RFA that local police in Ho Chi Minh City beat him twice and destroyed his camcorder, adding that he was bleeding and experiencing nausea and vomiting the day after the assault.
Tran Dinh Son, a 29-year-old Vietnamese YouTuber from the city’s Cu Chi district, runs the channel i thường TVwho has just over 10 followers.
He told RFA that the municipal police in Tran Phu Trung district attacked him on Monday while he was shooting a fishing video. Son said he went fishing in a lotus-growing lake in Tan Phu Trang industrial park, hoping to capture content that he would later upload to his YouTube channel.
But according to Son, a guard came to the industrial estate and asked him to stop fishing. After the two men argued for a while, Son said the guard called the local police, who also asked him to leave. When he refused, Son said that one of the police officers and the guard took turns beating him.
“A police officer hit me two or three times and then held me so the guard could hit me. The three agents were very big while I was small. They hit me on the head and threatened me. While he was beating me, the guard yelled, ‘Give me your address and I’ll come kill your parents!’” Son said, explaining the details of the incident.
Son says police then restrained him and took him to the council headquarters, where they seized the GoPro5 he uses to create YouTube content, two cell phones and his motorcycle before leaving. When other officers were assigned to handle his case, Son said they asked him to write a report on the incident, which he declined to do, demanding to know why he was violently beaten while committing no crime. .
“I was beaten again at the police station. They hit me a lot on the head and my arm with their bare hands. A police officer named Tai hit and kicked me. Another strangled me and someone who seemed to be in charge elbowed me in the face. Then they handcuffed me, beat me to the ground and dragged me to a room nearby and left me alone.”
While Son was screaming for help, a woman heard him and informed his mother, a local teacher. When Son’s mother, Nguyen Thi Ty, arrived at the headquarters, he said that the police agreed to take off his handcuffs and then repeated their request to him to write a report on the incident, in which he would admit that he had fished “illegally” in the park.
Son says the police added that they would return all of his belongings on the condition that he delete the videos of them beating him.
When the police returned his belongings, they asked him to fill out a transfer slip. However, Son says some parts of his GoPro 5, which cost VND4 million (about $170), have been destroyed.
When the officers left while he was filling out his paperwork and did not return, Son and his mother left the station. However, another group of police officers prevented him from going to the hospital to treat his injuries, he said.
One of the officers, named Hai, asked Son to return the transfer slip he filled out at the police station, threatening him with charges of “stealing state records” if he refused.
In a video filmed at Son’s home, Hai, who was in uniform, denied hitting Son.
RFA contacted the Tan Phu Trung Municipality Police Station to verify the incident. However, the officers who answered the phone said they could not answer unless a reporter came directly to their office.
Translated by Anna Vu. Written by Nawar Nemeh.