The parading of a group of prostitutes by local police in
Shenzhen on Wednesday has triggered a heated debate in China.
The Shenzhen Futian Police officers forced 100 prostitutes and
their customers to parade in the street while they read out their
personal details on loudspeakers, their latest tactic to fight the
city's sex industry.
The sex workers were made to wear yellow vests and white
surgical masks which only revealed their eyes as thousands of
people watched the march.
Yao Jianguo, a lawyer from Shanghai, criticized the parade,
saying it had a "baneful social and international influence" and
labeling it "illegal" in an open letter to the Standing Committee
of the National People's Congress.
Other media reports said that the All-China Women's Federation
had also voiced their disapproval but when Xinhua contacted a
federation official surnamed Zhang, she refused to comment
Some local citizens have hailed the parade as an example of the
police's resolution to crack down on the sex industry.
"Dozens of prostitutes have moved out of the village every day
after seeing the parade," a man from Shazui village who refused to
be named told the New Express Daily.
The villager said that, with economic development, prostitution
had become rampant in recent years leading to the "deterioration of
the social atmosphere."
The parade has also been fervently discussed on the Internet.
Some netizens said that the sex industry had ruined people's lives
so sex workers should not be shown sympathy. They also said the
parade would improve the general public security situation in
Others said that they supported the transparency of law
enforcement but citizen's privacy should be fully respected.
"These people may have done something wrong, but their dignity
should have been preserved," said one netizen.
The Shenzhen Futian police authorities refused to make any
comment on the parade but said they would keep close watch over the
city's pornographic industry.
(CRI.com December 8, 2006)