Justice for 9-year-old Le Thi Nhat Linh - a victim of sexual abuse and murder in Japan

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Le Thi Nhat Linh was 9 years old when she went missing March 24 2017 on her way to school. She was a third-grader at a public elementary school in the nearby city of Matsudo.

Her body was found clothless in a grass-covered drainage ditch in Abiko, east of Tokyo, on March 26.

Linh arrived in Japan with her family at age of 3.

She was keen to learn the written forms of both Vietnamese and Japanese. She would say she wanted a job when she grows up that would introduce Vietnam to Japanese, and Japan to Vietnamese.

“She was a cheerful and happy child. She loved Japan. But we brought her here only to meet such fate. I have to apologize her,” said Nguyen, as she wiped her tears.

Hao, her father, said he had spent the past six month praying for Linh to be “reincarnated and become my daughter again.”

Police arrested Yasumasa Shibuya, 46, a neighbor who headed the parents’ group at the school Linh attended, on suspicion of abandoning the girl’s body.

The arrest came three weeks after the body was discovered. He was indicted for the murder and abandonment of a body in May. He remains silent in the face of police questioning, investigators said.

The family was devastated to learn that the suspect in the case was a man who actively volunteered to provide a safe escort for children on their way to school.

Overcome with grief, Hao has been unable to return to his job. He dwells on Shibuya's motive, but has not heard from him. By remaining in his silence, Shibuya intends to defer his trial.

Supporters say that capital punishment in Japan is applied infrequently and only to those who have committed the most extreme of crimes—a single act of murder does not attract capital punishment without additional aggravating circumstances such as rape or robbery. In Linh’s case her family said the suspect is likely to escape death penalty unless he is also convicted of other crimes that make his offense more "serious".

Mr Hao started a petition calling for Shibuya to face capital punishment if he is convicted of the slaying. So far, over 30,000 signatures in support have been collected.

Mr Hao and Mrs Nguyen are trying in vain to collect physical signatures to support their entreaty. Mr Hao is going to return to his work from early February therefore his collection of physical signatures can only be done on weekends which make it more difficult to get a strong-needed support.

I’m creating this plea to ask for online support to Le Nhat Linh’s family in their desperate journey looking for true justice for their ill-fated little girl.

Relating articles in:

Vietnamese: https://thanhnien.vn/doi-song/gia-dinh-be-nhat-linh-xin-chu-ky-keu-goi-nghiem-tri-ke-thu-ac-929731.html

English: http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201709260049.html

Mr Hao's (father) facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/leanhhaojp

Mrs Nguyen's (mother) facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nguyenthinguyen.muadongveemlainhoanh

 



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