The 57-year-old said when she asked the officer why she was beaten, he told her to 'shut up' and hit her again
No punitive action has been taken against a police officer in Da Nang after he admitted that he hit a local woman in public with a baton because he thought she was a sex worker.
Sublieutenant Phung Van Phuong, in charge of fighting prostitution in Ngu Hanh Son District, has apologized to the victim and paid her VND1.9 million (US$85) as compensation.
Phuong said he saw the woman on the street and "found her familiar."
“I hit her twice. We also argued. But I have apologized and given her some money to treat the injuries,” Phuong said.
Nguyen Thi Kha, 57, received treatment at a medical center with large bruises on her buttock and left thigh after being hit on November 28. She left the center on Thursday morning.
Kha said she works as a caregiver for pregnant women waiting for delivery at hospitals. While she was looking for somebody who could give her a ride home, she was suddenly attacked from behind.
“I fell and when I turned back, I saw a police officer and a militiaman.”
She said when she asked the officer why she was beaten, he told her to “shut up” before hitting her again and left on a motorbike.
Kha reported to the police the next day.
Lieutenant-colonel Nguyen Cuong, chief of My An Ward Police offers an apology to 57-year-old Nguyen Thi Kha, who was beaten by his subordinate on November 28, 2015. Photo: Nguyen Tu
Lieutenant-colonel Nguyen Cuong, chief of My An Ward Police in the district, said in principal, police are not allowed to beat sex workers and have to catch them together with clients to conclude that they are sex workers.
Cuong said Phuong’s act was “not right” but he asked for sympathy as the incident happened at the location which local residents have complained many times that sex workers were working.
“Our job of dealing with sex workers is very complicated,” he said.
Kha said she will not file charges as Cuong has also made an apology for his subordinate's mistake.
"Phuong's my son's age and I do not want to ruin his career," Kha said.
Vietnam considers prostitution illegal and sex workers will be fined after caught for a couple times.