A file photo of Luong Viet Duc. Photo by nld

Head of the Ham Thuan Bac District's Department of Public Security, Le Ba Thanh announced on August 9 that the same morning they prosecuted Luong Viet Duc, 27, for intentionally causing serious injury to an 11-year-old boy while attending a meditation course at a local pagoda.

"Duc would also be banned from leaving his residential area," the official said.

Also on August 9, police collected seven photos of the injuries subjected to the boy submitted by his mother, Vo Thi Huong. Huong took the photos on July 16 when coming to the pagoda following a call from Duc.


A photo of the 11-year-old boy after being beaten by the monk

According to the police, forensic examination results showed that the boy had injuries on 9 percent of his body with scars on his back, arms, hands and legs. Besides that, there were bruises on his thighs and buttocks.

The mother shows some scars on the boy's arm

The boy had recovered after eight days being treated at the hospital but continued to feel dizzy and tired and had to be hospitalised again on August 7.

"He is stable now but needs to stay in hospital for further monitoring," the mother said.

On July 16 Vo Thi Huong sent a complaint to the police accusing Duc of beating and sexually abusing her son.

In her complaint, Huong said that she heard about the three-month meditation course held by Duc and registered for her son during his summer holiday. The course started on June 10 and the boy was registered to stay at the pagoda with seven other children for three months.

However, Duc, who is the only teacher at the course, called the mother on July 16 saying that he would not allow her son to continue the course because the boy was spoiled.

"The teacher said my son was caught watching sex movies and damaging some furniture in the pagoda, and that I needed to come and take him home." Huong said in her complaint. "When I came to the pagoda, my son rushed to me and cried for help. And I was shocked to see his body full of scars and bruises. He told me that the teacher often asked him to his room and forced him to watch sex movies and touched his body. Whenever he refused, the teacher would beat him. But when I asked the teacher, he denied sexually abusing my son and said he only beat my son. I immediately took my son to hospital where he had to stay for eight days for treatment. I believed in what my son told me and asked for the police investigation."

In a meeting with the police on August 7, however, the monk denied the sexual abuse accusations, saying that he only beat the boy because he damaged some furniture and watched pornography.

Speaking to local media about the incident, head of Binh Thuan Province's Religion Board, Do Huu Ba said that monk Thich Chanh Duc whose real name is Luong Viet Duc built his house like a pagoda and illegally hosted praying gatherings and talks.

"He has been summoned and warned by local authorities about these activities," Ba said.

A representative from the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha said that some pagodas have been allowed to organise meditation courses for children during the summer holiday but each course should last only one or two weeks.