University lecturer detained: Police failed to notify family members

After a university lecturer was suddenly taken into police custody, his family expressed concern over not knowing his whereabouts until the story broke, and legal workers have spoken up about the procedures regarding his detainment.
Pham Dinh Quy, lecturer at Ton Duc Thang University (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
Pham Dinh Quy, lecturer at Ton Duc Thang University (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
Pham Dinh Quy, lecturer at Ton Duc Thang University with a docteral degree, was escorted out by the police while having dinner with his wife on the evening of September 23, 2020.
He was detained at Ho Chi Minh City Police Station, where custody was subsequently transferred to Dak Lak Police.
According to Nguyen Huu The Trach, lawyer of the HCMC Bar Association, several preventive measures were taken by Dak Lak Police against Quy, including “emergency custody” and “temporary detainment” according to the 2015 Criminal Procedure Code (2015 CPC). He concluded that it was a criminal arrest rather than an administrative one.
Current evidence against Quy points towards slander under Clause 1 or 2, Article 156 of the 2015 Criminal Code, which is a less serious crime with a penalty of less than 3 years’ imprisonment.
The police therefore could have enacted Point C, Clause 1, Article 110 of the 2015 Criminal Procedure Code to issue an arrest warrant.
The length of an emergency custody under Article 110 (2015 CPC) should not exceed 12 hours, and the investigating agency must issue a temporary detainment order, arrest warrant or discharge order within that time frame.
If Quy were to be prosecuted, either detention or a bail may be applied according to Clause 2 Article 119 (2015 CPC).
After detaining a person, the body issuing the warrant or arrest decision must immediately notify family members of the detained as well as communal authorities.
A notice was given to Quy’s brother Pham Dinh Phu on September 28 regarding the “emergency custody” and “wanted order” against Quy, five days after the detainment.
The notice stated that Pham Dinh Quy was detained and questioned for the act of “Distributing documents to harm another person’s reputation”, according to Article 156 Penal Code, Phu told of the the press.
SGGP’s reporters reached out to the HCMC Police to find out more about the case, but its representative said the detention order was carried out by Dak Lak Police, and they only helped out as per the province’s request.

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