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Reporter dies following brutal attack

Le Hoang Hung
Le Hoang Hung

A Vietnamese journalist who was brutally attacked last week has died from his wounds, report the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Le Hoang Hung, a reporter with the "Nguoi Lao Dong" (Labourer) newspaper, succumbed to severe burns in a Ho Chi Minh City hospital over the weekend.

On 20 January, an unknown assailant entered Hung's house in Tan An, doused him in chemicals and set him on fire. He suffered severe burns on around 20 percent of his body and was in critical condition before his death, according to CPJ.

Hung's wife, Tran Thi Lieu, told reporters that he had received threatening text messages on his mobile phone from unknown numbers before the attack. News reports indicate that he had widely covered official misconduct in the country's southern Mekong Delta region, including cross-border smuggling issues.

Although government control and censorship is common in Vietnam, the murder of journalists is rare, say the IFEX members.

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    "Media killings are rare in Vietnam and authorities should act to ensure that a culture of impunity does not begin to take root," CPJ said.

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