Target: President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping
Goal: Stop police brutality and torture, and ensure swift prosecution of abusive police officers.
Police in China frequently beat, torture and arrest women who are suspected sex workers, even with little to no evidence that the women engaged in sex work. Often, women are detained simply because they are carrying condoms, which are then confiscated. This further deters the use of protection among sex workers, creating a greater risk of spreading HIV.
While prostitution is illegal in China, it is still openly provided in massage parlors, karaoke bars and nightclubs, despite such frequent government crackdowns. Prostitution is also illegal in other Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea, but there are stricter laws regarding prostitution, as well as rules of law that prevent police brutality and protect the women who consensually engage in sex work.
Whether women voluntarily choose sex work or not, there is no excuse to subject them to such brutality, torture and coerced confessions. The Chinese government must commit to nationwide laws to prohibit arbitrary arrests, police brutality and swiftly prosecute abusive officers.
Dear President Xi Jinping,
The arbitrary arrests and police brutality against women who voluntarily engage in sex work must stop. Many of these women become sex workers because of poverty, job loss, divorce or fewer career or educational opportunities. There is no excuse to subject the women to torture or coerced confessions, because of a tough choice they had to make.
Instead of punishing the women, it would be better to educate your police force on basic rights of a sex worker and prosecute the officers guilty of such brutality. Violence does nothing to prevent prostitution, but instead pushes it further underground where women are even less protected, and given any opportunity to improve their lives.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Chris via commons.wikimedia.org