Seven officers suspended in scandalous filmed prostitution raid

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Seven police officers in the northern province of Quang Ninh have been suspended for allegedly being involved in an online clip filming a prostitution raid that has provoked public's protests recently.


According to Nguyen Huu Tuoc, director of Quang Ninh police, the raid was conducted by police in Cam Pha town in June with the officers wearing non-uniforms and finding two women prostituting with two men.


One of the officers then filmed the raid with a mobile phone to make it an evidence of the case, but the phone later broke down and was brought to a shop for repairs, Tuoc quoted the officers' report as saying.


The official stressed they are investigating why the clip has been leaked.


He said the prostitution, meanwhile, had already been handled in accordance with laws before.


However, the clip which filmed police officers asking two women to write up for their prostituting without clothes on has provoked the public's protests and raised concerns among officials and experts about the officers' conduct in the raid, since it was posted online last week.


The one-and-half-minute length clip also showed one officer ordering the women to take their hands off for him to take photographs while they were trying to cover their bodies with their hands.


A lawyer from Hanoi Bar Association who wished to stay unnamed said what were showed in the clip were "improper" behaviors and words of police.


"All the behaviors showed in the clip aren't allowed by laws and unacceptable in terms of ethics," he said, adding that the officers should have explained to the arrestees their rights and allowed them to wear clothes before that.


In the meantime, psychologist Nguyen Minh Duc from the Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences said in Vietnam News that "the filming and rude words in the clip have brutally abused women's dignity."


If the clip was leaked with the participation of any officers, "it is unforgivable regardless of any excuse making it appear as an incident," Duc said. 


Hoang Thi Ai Nhien, vice chairwoman of Vietnam's Women Union, urged related agencies to investigate the clip and deal with the case strictly.


No one, organization or force has rights to humiliate women, their dignity and human rights, forcing them to film with "improper images" and then posting them online, Nhien stressed. This is applicable to all women whoever they are, whether they are criminals or not, she said.


Le The Tiem, deputy minister of Public Security, meanwhile, said with information reported by the media, the officers' behaviors weren't alright and didn't comply with standards.


Tiem said he will order Quang Ninh police to report the case fully and in details.


Do Kim Tuyen, deputy chief of the ministry's Anti-Crime Department, also pledged agencies will punish officers who have violated regulations and laws.


Still, Tuyen added that in terms of profession, officers are allowed to disguise themselves as people and conduct necessary measures to collect evidences for the case.


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