Policemen pay for sex with public money
In the past year the number of complaints about policemen receiving free sex services has risen by 5 times, from 20 cases in 2009 to 105 cases in 2010. More than 80 per cent of such incidents took place in foot massage parlours.
Undercover police officers turned into familiar clients
According to the police’s guidelines for undercover operations, an officer can, subject to his superior’s approval, legally receive masturbation service from sex workers. It has been reported that police officers would repeatedly visit the same foot massage parlour in order to secure a successful prosecution.
One masseuse complained that the police officer who arrested her had received her service more than 10 times before. “I can’t remember how many times that policeman has engaged me!” Even on the day of her arrest, the policeman only acted after receiving a full two-hour massage (including masturbation). Another masseuse said that she had provided full service – massage with masturbation, or even sexual intercourse – to a police officer three times before her arrest. Again, on the day of police action the officer demanded masturbation service, during which he actively caressed her waist and thighs.
Paying for Sex with Public Money The most appalling issue is that the general public knows nothing about how the costs of these undercover operations were covered. The Hong Kong Police have always declined to release the relevant figures. It is far from clear whether the undercover officers paid with their own money in their many visits to foot massage parlours, or whether they have applied for public funds to conduct such visits. If they have indeed employed public money in these “continuous” undercover operations, tax payers are in effect taking care of the officers’ bills for all sorts of sex service.
Of the 44 complaints involving strip search, almost two-thirds happened on non-local sex workers. One of them complained that she was moved around several detention rooms in the police station, and she was stripped naked and searched every time she was brought to a new room. In the end she was stripped five times in one evening. Nobody explained why she was searched, and she never received any statement about her rights as a detainee.
Abuse of police power
It was reported that two uniformed officers (one male and one female), while inspecting the premises of a sex worker in a one-woman apartment, accused her of illegally offering massage services, and threatened her with arrest unless she “turned over two people who had stayed [in Hong Kong] beyond the approved period.” They scolded the woman repeatedly, “You must come with us, no matter you are willing or not!” The sex worker said she wanted to call Ziteng for help, but the officers vigorously attempted to stop her from making phone calls. They then perfunctorily searched the room and left hastily.
In another case a female officer knocked the door loudly, demanding to inspect the premises when the sex worker was serving a client inside. “If you don’t open the door, we will break into your apartment!” The policewoman shouted. The sex worker then put on her clothes and let the officer in, only to be fiercely scolded, “What are you doing, not opening the door sooner?”
Foreign sex worker convicted of assaulting police officers
In July this year a foreign sex worker was arrested by undercover police officers on the staircase. During the operation she was pushed into an apartment. When the woman shouted over and over again that she wanted to make a phone call, a policeman randomly picked up a hard object in the room to hit her. Her head, the corners of her lips, and the interior of her mouth cavity bled, and her face, left arm and left leg were bruised. When the husband of the sex worker arrived at the police station, a police officer apologized to him in private, claiming that he did not intend to injure the woman. The sex worker was charged with “breach of condition of stay”, “soliciting for an immoral purpose”, and “assault with intent to commit offence, or on police officer”.
At the court the police stated that the sex worker was emotionally unstable at the time of the arrest, and the injuries were inflicted by the woman herself. The magistrate believed the statement of the police, and he even requested a psychiatric report concerning the woman’s alleged self-mutilation. Although the psychiatric report stated that the woman’s mind was sound, and that her attitude was optimistic and co-operative, in the end she was convicted on all three counts and sentenced to four months’ imprisonment.
We strongly request the Hong Kong Police:
- Amend the guidelines regarding undercover operations; prohibit the officers from receiving any form of sex service in such operations.
- Give the details concerning these undercover operations to the general public: how many officers have received masturbation service; how much public money has been spent in anti-prostitution operations which subsidize officers’ visits to such establishments.
- Establish an independent commission to investigate and punish officers who are found to be abusing their powers.
- Respect the human rights of sex workers; put a stop to all infringements to their rights.
Zi Teng JJJ Association
December 17, 2010