Vietnam executes death row prisoner Le Van Manh

The sentence was carried out despite foreign diplomatic missions calling for a stay of execution.
By RFA Vietnamese
Le Van Manh while living with his family.
Ho Chi Minh City Police

Death row prisoner Le Van Manh was executed on Friday morning, lawyer Le Van Luan posted on Facebook, in a case with evidence which lawyers said was not clear enough to convict.

"News and official documents said that defendant Le Van Manh was executed on the morning of September 22, 2023," said Luan.

A death notice dated September 22, 2023 from the People's Committee of Thu Phong commune, Cao Phong district, Hoa Binh province, posted widely on social media said that death row prisoner Le Van Manh, born in 1982, died at 8:45 a.m. on September 22, 2023 at a Hoa Binh Provincial Police execution facility.

Upon receiving news of the imminent execution last week, Manh’s family said they did not accept the verdict because it was an unjust sentence. They said they would continue to protest his innocence to authorities in Hanoi.

In 2005, when he was 23 years old, Le Van Manh was sentenced to death for allegedly raping and killing a female student in the same village earlier that year.

The case occurred on March 21, 2005, but it was not until April 20 that police arrested Manh on a robbery charge in another case.

After four days of detention Manh was prosecuted for murder and child rape.

Manh’s mother Nguyen Thi Viet told Radio Free Asia her son said that he had been tortured to force him to confess.

During the trial lawyers requested an examination of the defendant's body to determine whether he had been tortured, but the court refused.

“Despite knowing in detail that Le Van Manh’s case was mired in serious irregularities and violations of the right to a fair trial, including allegations of torture to extract a ‘confession,’ authorities in Viet Nam executed him anyway mere days after informing his family to make arrangements for his remains. It’s sickening,” Amnesty International’s death penalty expert Chiara Sangiorgio said in a statement.

A day before the execution – September 21 – the European Union delegation along with the embassies of Canada, the United Kingdom and Norway in Vietnam issued a joint statement calling on Hanoi to stay execution of the sentence.

“We strongly oppose the use of capital punishment at all times and in all circumstances, which is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and can never be justified, and advocate for Vietnam to adopt a moratorium on all executions,” said the statement posted on the EU delegation’s Facebook page.

This is the second joint statement by the EU and the UK, Norway and Canada on the death penalty in Vietnam in the last two months. Late last month, they issued a statement calling on Vietnamese authorities to stay the execution of Nguyen Van Chuong, who was convicted of murder in Hai Phong in 2007.

Translated by RFA Vietnamese. Edited by Mike Firn and Elaine Chan.


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