Hanoi – Police in Vietnam arrested a man on charges of forcing his 7-year-old son to drink rice wine until he died, an official said Monday. Nguyen Van Tien, 34, was arrested Thursday at his home in Ha Tinh province, 350 kilometres south of Hanoi, said Phan Thanh Giap, director of the district’s Police Department.
“He was arrested for ‘ill-treating other people,'” Giap said, using an official term from Vietnam’s penal code. “Tien had beaten his son many times before he forced him to drink rice wine, which caused the boy’s death on July 22.”
Giap said Tien bought a bottle of rice wine that day and forced his son to drink with him. After drinking 13 cups, the boy went to bed and, within a few hours, was found dead.
“Tien’s wife used to be a prostitute, so he thought the boy was not his son, and he beat the boy every now and then,” Giap said. “A couple of days before the boy died, his father had beaten him again and broken his arm.”
Giap said Tien would likely face other charges, including murder, if the investigation proves that he deliberately killed his son.
According to the Vietnamese penal code, “ill-treating other people” is punishable by up to three years in prison while murder carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.