Zi Teng Statement on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Sex Workers are not humans?
It is the 11th International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers today. During 2013, the police never stopped raiding the sex workers and the massage workers. For example, we received the complaints from the massage workers almost every week, telling us that the police checked the license 4-5 times a week; one police constable go to tease the street-based sex workers whenever he sees them, and he will not stop teasing them even he is off duty; respective constable touches the private parts of the sex worker…

All these strongly tell us that some police constables do not treat sex workers as humans. They only want to show their power and authority by degrading sex workers, as well as the power to manipulate sex workers in different ways.

Examples how sex workers are not treated as humans:

Sex workers are emails/facebook, need to be checked each hour

  • One street-based sex worker works every day, and one police constables check her identity card every day. Yet, the police constable suddenly changed and checked her identity card every hour without any reason and explanation. The woman asked the police constables, “you just checked my identity card, but why you did come to check it again in 1 minute? You have been checking the identity card 7-8 times every day. You should understand that we are not the illegal immigrant, but why do you still insist to check our identity card several times a day?” One police constable quickly responded in threatening tone, “you are very immodest. I know your name. I will ask someone to trap you. You’ll see.” 3 days later, the street-based sex worker was arrested in one undercover operation.

Sex workers are blankets, need to be put under the sun

  • One sex worker was stopped by the police to check her identity card. The woman suggested to stay away from the hawkers as she did not want to cause inconveniences for the hawkers and to block the way. The police constable immediately shouted at the woman, “Stand in the place where I tell you. Shut up,” The police constable followed, “If you like standing in the streets, then stand there in the middle of the road and do not move. Let everyone take a look at you.” It was very sunny that day at noon. The woman cried much. Some hawkers spoke for the woman but the police constable questioned if the hawkers were the woman’s boss and agent. He said he would take them to the police station. The sex worker was made standing for more than 20 minutes. Her face was red and her eyes swelled. Eventually, the police constable did not take further action but spoke in great satisfaction to the sex worker, “That’s it for today. Don’t speak too much afterwards. Do whatever we ask you to do.”

Sex workers are rats, cursed and unwelcomed

  • One sex worker was stopped by some police constables. One police constable was very rude. The sex worker felt uneasy as she did follow the police and did not break the law. Similar to the police, she was also working for the sake of her family. She asked the police constables why she was treated rudely. The police constable only said, “If you are unpleasant you can go to another area, then I won’t treat you in this way.” At night, the same police constable met the sex worker again with another two colleagues. He ran to scold the sex worker and told his colleagues, “This is the bitch I mentioned. She was very arrogant.” Afterwards, he pointed to the woman and threatened, “Don’t let me see you again. Or I will take you to the police station.” On the following day, the police constable was off duty and in plain cloth. When he met the sex worker, he still ran to her and shouted at her.

Sex workers are fish, collect them at a point to catch them more easily

  • In one joint operation with the Immigration Department, the police went to one building where they believed to be the hiding place of some illegal labourers and migrant sex workers. During the operation, some police constables suddenly pulled the electric cables on the ground floor. The building was immediately out of electricity. Many sex workers were shocked and came out of the flat. At this moment, the police quickly ran to the sex workers. All those who failed to show the police the Hong Kong identity card were then pushed into the police cars.

Sex workers are ping-pong, game starts easily

  • One sex worker was arrested. She executed her right to remain silent at the police station. When the sergeant found that she did not say a word, he used his warrant card to hit the woman’s mouth. While he hit the woman, he kept on threatening the woman to open her mouth. The woman was able to remain silent, but her mouth turned red and swelled.

Sex workers were silicone dolls, for sexual satisfaction

  • One undercover officer saw a sex worker in the street. He approached her and asked her the service charge. Then they took a taxi to the hotel. The undercover officer touched the sex worker’s breast and genital area. He wanted to kiss the woman too. The woman tried to stop him and said his hands were dirty, but the officer did not listen and kept touching the woman. He grabbed the woman’s hand to touch his private part. He also asked the woman if she found his penis erected, saying, “Later I will put this erected object into your vagina.”

Similar to others, sex workers and massage workers are entitled to human rights. They are not born to help releasing the pressure or anger of the police constables. They should be treated as humans. We are extremely angry with the behaviours of some police constables. We also strongly hope that the police management can pay attention on the misconduct of their subordinate. It is really a pity for the Hong Kong Police Force to lose all the trust of the sex workers for the black sheep.

Zi Teng December 17, 2013