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November 7, 2009

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Prostitute arrest draws critics

THE rough arrest of a prostitute, captured in a video clip and pictures that spread rapidly online, has sparked criticism of the police of Zhengzhou City, capital of central China's Henan Province.

In the video, a bald man in a robe grabs a naked woman by the hair and asks loudly, "How many times tonight?"

The woman is on her knees and her face is in agony as the bald man -- a policeman posing as a worker -- hurls questions at her. A nude man is also in the room.

The post that revealed the scene on Monday was soon copied by China's main portal Websites, including, and, and flew across the Internet.

More than 90 percent of the comments by the Internet users called the rough arrest inhumane and an infringement of human rights.

Thousands left their comments on just one post, at the online forum

"By what right did the police get to be so rude? It is common sense that he should let her put on some clothes first," wrote the post's author.

Said a user in southern Guangdong Province:

"The policeman is insulting the woman in the name of law enforcement. He brought disgrace to law."

Another user in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, asked: "The lady may be wrong. But what did she do to deserve such maltreatment?"

Su Yinhai, deputy director of the publicity department of Henan Provincial Public Security Bureau, pointed out that "the pictures and video clip were not released by the police but a local reporter."

That did not impress Lu Ping, a student from Zhengzhou University in Henan.

"Even if it weren't the police who released the video clip and pictures, they are still to be blamed for the rude interrogation," Lu said. "Apparently there were no need for violence."

Guo Hongkui, a lawyer with the Henan Wenfeng Law Firm said: "The police's misconduct in the raid infringed the civil rights of the prostitute. And the release of the pictures and video was definitely illegal. Whoever gave them out broke the law."


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