International Day to End Violence Against Sex Worker 1

December 17 this year is the 4th International Day to End Violence Against Sex Worker. Sex worker organizations from different parts of the world will hold activity to commemorate those sex workers who have been bullied or killed and demand the respect of sex workers’ human rights. Zi Teng is going to host an activity to mourn for the murdered sex workers and raise the general public’s concern for the safety of sex worker and stop any violence against sex workers.

Sex worker murdered
Near Ipswich River of the United Kingdom, 5 sex workers had been murdered since December and the killer is still at large. This incident has aroused the public concern. Beside the U.K., incidents like this always happen in the world. For examples, 26 people were killed in a pig farm in Pickton, Canada; two brothers have robbed and killed 13 sex workers in 5 different provinces of China; more than 60 were killed in Green River in the U.S., the murderer claimed in the court that even if a sex worker is killed, it did not matter whatsoever; in Hong Kong, 3 sex workers were murdered by the Sam Shui Po killer; there were sex workers killed in Tsuen Wan, Tai Po and To Kwa Wan and the killer is still at large.

Violence Sex Workers Encounter
Bias in the law, social discrimination and police’s suppression made sex workers liable to violence like: robbery, rape and murder. When they are treated violently, they are reluctant to ask for help from the police. In HK over 70% of sex workers have been treated violently (30% were once robbed and 8% rape…..). As police suppression is also another source of violence towards sex workers, their human rights are severely violated. Law and law enforcers not only neglect in providing them safety but also become a tool suppressing them purely because of their identity as a sex worker. In 2006, we have received more than 200 complaints against the police. Regarding the violence from police officers against sex workers, 350 citizens and sex workers have voted in December to select those incidents that police have abused their power. We have organized demonstration to Central Police Headquarter and passed those incidents to the police and demand them to stop the suppression against sex workers.

Police Have Right to Abuse, Sex Worker No Right to Accuse
Zi Teng has been continuously demanding the police to stop violence and abuses against sex workers but the police do not take any measure to stop them but also allow and encourage themselves to continue their misconduct (e.g., the police insist police officer can accept masturbation service in undercover operation). In the past, the police requested the victim to file a complaint in the Complain Against Police Office (CAPO). However, those victims met lots of obstacles when they did so. CAPO not only refuse to accept complaints about abuses of police power but also has a prolonged delay in publicizing the result of their investigation (e.g. the Li Yuen Yee case has already happened for more than a year but there is still no report publicized). The content of the complaint was twisted in the file and the one who complain was threatened and discouraged. A system that make use of the policemen to investigate police complaints allow them to continue to abuse their power and no need to bear any responsibility in doing so.

We demand the followings:
1. Stop violence against sex workers
2. Decriminalize sex work and protect sex workers by law
3. Stop social discrimination against sex workers
4. Recognize sex work is work and respect their basic human rights
5. Set up an independent complaint system to investigate cases of police power abuse

These are the elected issues of police power abuse:

1st : Suicide of Li Yuen Yee who was Framed by the Police during Operation
In Oct 2005, police officer Yau Shu Ming refused payment after oral sex service by Li Yuen Yee in an undercover operation and framed her of blackmail and assault. Li was terribly frustrated and committed suicide by jumping off a building. Coroner’s Court has ended the trial in May 06. Her family members filed a complaint in CAPO and still have no report on the investigation after more than a year. CAPO said that they were busy and asked them to wait. Until now, those who concerned in the case are still at large and no disciplinary actions taken.

2nd : CAPO Police protecting police, stop sex workers’ complaint
CAPO always refuse to handle and threaten complainer, here are the examples:

  1. Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station inhumanely use iron cage to retain sex workers. CAPO used the excuse that Mr. Lau was not a victim and refused to handle the complaint, no disciplinary action taken.
  2. Zi Teng complained police officers accepting masturbation service, CAPO said it is an administrative issue and refuse to handle the complaint
  3. Complainer Ping Ping complained that a police officer accepted sex service during the undercover operation. Another police officer touched her breasts (sexual assault). Ping Ping complained to CAPO and requested the police not to call her directly. Instead, CAPO called her and caused nuisance to make her give up her complaint.
  4. Shiu Man was framed and beaten by 2 police officers. CAPO refused to arrange a medical check up and threaten her that if she cannot produce witness, she will be charged with false accusation. It is because there is no witness by the time she was beaten, she was forced to drop her complaint.
  5. Mandy complained that she was stripped-searched 4 times in 12 hours, but CAPO officer did not record the details. Mandy realized that the police are protecting their own colleagues and drop the complaint finally.

3rd : The Police Department Allows Undercover Police to Accept Masturbation Service
The police department ignores the objections from the LEGCO, public and scholars in legal sector and allows undercover police to accept masturbation service and thus encourage the police to enjoy free sex service.

3rd : Police forced guesthouse keeper to open room door and made guests naked before them and framed female travelers
The police frequently check on guesthouses. Without the consent of the guests inside, they forcibly enter the room without a warrant. The guests were interrogated by the police without any clothes on. They will arrest her if she is coming from Mainland China. The police also claimed they will report it to his wife and threatened the man to frame her to be sex worker

5th : Kill Bill
Cheung Sha Wan Police Station posted a slogan “No matter who she is, no one stays on the street”

6th : Cruel Torture inside Police Station: Stripped Search, Beaten and No Phone Call
To make the sex workers to compile and sign the statement, the police will often use the following ways: stripped search, beating, threatening and forbidding phone calls

7th : Police Use Camera in Mobile Phone to Take Pictures of Sex Worker
Zi Teng has received more than 80 complaints from Mainland Chinese, accusing the police, without any evidence, suspected them to be sex workers, had their ID or Passport information jogged down, used mobile phone to take their pictures and ordered them to leave Hong Kong and not to come back again. This seriously offend their rights and privacy.

For details and any enquiry, please contact Zi Teng at 23327182 or e-mail to ziteng@hkstar.com

SLOGAN:

Police abuse their rights, sex workers complain no rights
C.A.P.O. Complaint No Go
Police Free Sex, No No No
Mobile picture Mainlanders, Privacy no more
Decriminalize Sex Work
Sex Work is Work
Stop Violence

1 International Day to End Violence Against Sex Worker
Background: This day originated from the day when Green River serial killer Gary Ridway, who has raped and killed more than 48 sex workers, was convicted. In order to stop violence against sex workers, sex worker organization SWOP has called upon sex workers throughout the world to organize activity to raise concern for those victimized sex workers, voice against violence and advocating to protect them through legislation.