The Department of External Affairs in the north-central province of Quang Tri has requested the Vietnamese Consulate General in Laos' Savannakhet Province to verify a case where a Vietnamese citizen is reported to have been beaten and held by Lao police for days.
Nguyen Thi Kham, a local in Quang Tri's eponymous town, told the authority that her 26-year-old son Nguyen Duong Phi had been hit and detained by the police department in Savannakhet's Seponh District for no proper reason.
Phi is living with a permanent residence permit in Savannakhet and operates bulldozers for work in Seponh’s Thakhong Village, according to Kham’s report on June 29,
On his way to work on June 24, a group of people who claimed to be police, wearing no uniforms and carrying no police ID cards, asked Phi to present his personal papers.
As Phi refused to comply with their request and kept going, the group used force to stop his vehicle, held him, beat him, and asked for a fine of 1.3 million Lao kip (US$144) or they would not let him go.
Phi did not agree to pay the sum and has been temporarily held in custody at Seponh District’s police station since June 24.
Kham also sent a number of photos together with her written account of the incident to the Quang Tri external affairs department showing Phi’s injuries to prove that her son was beaten.
The department on Tuesday said that it had sent a note to the Vietnamese Consulate General in Savannakhet asking the diplomatic mission to verify Kham’s report.
It requested the agency in Savannakhet follow the case and contact authorities in Laos to ensure the protection of the Vietnamese citizen.