Tue, Sep 14, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Labor group protests against police discrimination

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

Members of a labor organization yesterday protested against Taipei City police abuse over allegations that an officer abused a foreign worker on the run.

“Zhongzheng (中正) First Precinct, apologize ... Abuse of police power ... Social class discrimination,” the more than 20 protesters chanted outside the station.

Hsu Chia-chun (許家雋), spokesman for the Taiwan International Workers’ Association, told the people gathered outside the station that on Thursday, police officer Kao Shu-wen (高樹文) and his colleague, who are both based at the precinct, caught an escaping Indonesian female worker at an MRT station in Taipei.

Hsu said Kao sat on the woman’s belly and held her hands for 10 minutes in the station, with many passersby coming over to watch the ruckus.

TV news reports showed Kao telling the woman: “You lie down. Lie down for a while and wait for my colleagues who are on their way.”

As the woman screamed and tried to stand up, Kao told her: “You, don’t move. Don’t move. I am bleeding. Are you bleeding? You hit him [Kao’s colleague]. This constitutes assault on a police officer.”

The Zhongzheng First Precinct said Kao sat on the woman because she was resisting arrest.

Kao has a good track record of catching escaped foreign workers, with 36 arrests so far this year.

Hsu said Taiwanese police rarely conducted checks on Western people on the street and focused instead on “foreign workers” — most of whom are Southeast Asian — which tended to stigmatize them and portray them as threats.

He said such behavior by the police was discriminatory.

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