Wed, Sep 13, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Father of slain migrant questions police’s account

Staff writer, with CNA

The father of a Vietnamese worker who died after being shot nine times by police questions the circumstances of his son’s death, saying official explanations do not add up, a migrant workers’ rights group said yesterday.

Police in Hsinchu County have said that Nguyen Quoc Phi, 27, who had absconded from his job, resisted arrest and was trying to steal their patrol car when he was killed on Aug. 31.

They said they had tried to subdue him with a baton and pepper spray when he resisted being arrested for alleged theft and vandalism.

However, in a letter obtained by the Taiwan International Workers’ Association, Nguyen’s father questioned why his son would try to steal a car when he did not know how to drive.

Calling on the government to investigate Nguyen’s death, the father also said migrant workers in Taiwan who abscond usually do so to avoid paying high labor broker fees.

His death has raised questions about possible police brutality and racial profiling.

Cheng Ming-chung (鄭明忠), a section chief at the National Police Agency’s (NPA) International Affairs Division, yesterday said that the police would cooperate with the prosecutors’ investigation into Nguyen’s death.

The NPA places great importance on the issue of gun use by officers and will improve its training, he said.

Lai Yu-fen (賴毓棻), an official at the Vietnamese Migrant Workers and Brides Office at the Catholic Church’s Hsinchu Diocese, yesterday said that since the Employment Services Act (就業服務法) does not allow migrant workers to freely change employers, many migrants who cannot cope with poor working conditions often choose to run away from their jobs.

In some cases, migrants who file reports of disputes with their employers or leave their workplaces to seek outside help are reported by their employers as absconding, Lai said.

The reporting system has been abused by employers as a tool to deal with defiant employees and to prevent them from filing reports about disputes, Lai said.

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