To the Commissioner of Police of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,

A Declaration on the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers:
Stop Violence against Sex Workers by the Police (31-03-2005)

Today is the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers. We would like to take this opportunity to denounce the Hong Kong Police for their abuse of power and use of violence against sex workers.

Sex workers have never been accepted by our society. They are threatened by different types of brutality on a daily basis, such as violent customers, robbery, harassment from triad members, rape and even murder. Not only did the Police fail to protect us, they are often the executor of such violence, including physical abuse and demands of free sexual services.

We have already exposed these problems to the Hong Kong Police last year. Unfortunately, the situation has not improved, in fact, with the "endorsement" of the Secretary for Security and high-rank officials in the Police, the situation has deteriorated. Ziteng has received 120 complaints against the Police between January and October 2004, indicating a 40% increase compared to last year. The upsurge was mainly due to an announcement by the Police that officers were allowed to have limited bodily contact during undercover operations. The complaints about policemen receiving free sexual services during undercover operations thus increased (a total of 37 cases), especially on free masturbation (25 cases), which has increased twofold.

In addition to demands of sexual favors, sex workers were often mistreated by the Police during license inspections, such as verbal abuse (11 cases), compulsory relocation (10 cases), driving away customers (12 cases), and having their photographs taken by force (4 cases). Their rights were also frequently violated in Police stations, many were physically assaulted (14 cases), denied the right to make phone calls (24 cases), strip-searched (6 cases), and even spat on the face (1 case). Moreover, sex workers were often forced to sign documents and testimonies (30 cases).

We are outraged by the Police officers who used their duty to take advantage of sex workers. We condemn the Hong Kong Police for their silence on such abuse of power, which has become a form of passive encouragement.

We demand

  1. the Police to stop abusing their power and using violence against sex workers.
  2. the immediate amendment to the Police operational guidelines to prohibit officers from receiving masturbation during undercover investigations.
  3. the establishment of an independent complaint and investigation system to ensure the accountability of Police officers and punish those who abuse their power.

Sex Workers Who Don't Want to be Oppressed by the Police Anymore

Ziteng

Complaints of the Abuse of Power of the Police, Received by Ziteng between January and October 2004.

Free Sexual Services in Undercover Operations 37 Abuse of Power During License Inspection 52
Masturbation 25 Customers being driven away 12
Sexual Intercourse 12 Verbally Abused 10
Arrests 33 Forced to Produce the Lease 9
Prohibited from Making Phone Calls 24 Forced to Have Photographs Taken 4
Physically Assaulted 14 Forced to Sign Documents 23
Strip-Searched 6
Bail Denied 3
Forced to Sign Testimonies and Documents 30
Fraudulently Accused with Prearranged Evidence 10
Being Spat On 1
Others 3

Total: 120 cases