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The Ministry of Public Security has done the right thing to call a halt to the practice of parading prostitutes in public.
Prostitution is illegal in China, and law enforcers had launched a nationwide campaign from early June to crack down on the racket. The severe clampdown may have been necessary, but it is wrong to subject prostitutes to public humiliation.
Policemen in Dongguan, Guangdong province, recently paraded prostitutes in handcuffs on city streets and had their photos published in local papers. A public security bureau also displayed personal information of detained prostitutes.
Forcing prostitutes to show themselves off as offenders in public places is an insult to their dignity and a serious violation of their basic rights.
They may be fined or detained for breaking public security rules, or convicted if their charges so warrant. It is unethical, however, to humiliate them in public. Such actions stem from a clear lack of understanding of the law.
Law enforcers are supposed to display much better legal awareness than ordinary citizens. Yet, instances such as torturing of criminal suspects and parading prostitutes in public have proved just the opposite.
It is imperative to not just stop this illegal practice, but also to comprehensively educate police officers at the grassroots level about correct legal procedures. This will teach the law enforcement officers to deal with law-breakers strictly as per rules, and help the government govern its citizens in a just manner.
(China Daily 07/28/2010 page8)