May 14, 2013

II. Police Abuse of Sex Workers

I was beaten until I turned black and blue, because I wouldn’t admit to prostitution.
—Xiao Yue, interviewed in Beijing, 2011
In 2000, law enforcement agencies launched a campaign to strengthen control and management of recreational and entertainment facilities, and combat the vice of prostitution, during which 38,000 cases of prostitution, involving 73,000 individuals, were investigated and dealt with.
—Official Chinese report to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 2004[76]

Sex workers report a wide range of abuses at the hands of the police. These range from arbitrary arrests and detention to physical violence, ill-treatment, violation of due process rights, use of condoms as evidence of prostitution, and discrimination by law enforcement officials when sex workers try to report crimes or abuse.

In researching this report, we focused on police abuse of women engaging in sex work in Beijing. Although many of the women we interviewed could not specify which police units were involved, the law enforcement officers most often involved in enforcing criminal and administrative laws on prostitution in Beijing are from the local Public Security Bureau (PSB). PSB regulations explicitly prohibit police from beating, insulting, using disproportionate force, fining arbitrarily, or confiscating property from suspects and members of the public.[77]

Beatings, Ill-Treatment, and Torture in Custody

Police violence against sex workers is often most serious at the initial detention stage, when the police seek to have suspects confess to engaging in prostitution. Confessions relieve police officers from the more onerous task of finding and presenting conclusive evidence of prostitution. The coerced confessions serve as the basis for deciding the administrative punishment that will be imposed by the police or, in some cases, by the police-run Re-Education Through Labor committee. This problem is not unique to cases involving sex work.[78]

Several women interviewed by HRW said that when police arrested them, they beat them to coerce confessions. Experts on sex work and police practices in China say this is a common occurrence.[79]

Xiao Yue, a laid-off worker from the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, told us she was assaulted in police custody in Beijing in 2009 for refusing to admit she was engaging in sex work:

I was beaten until I turned black and blue, because I wouldn’t admit to prostitution. They kept yelling at me, “Fuck you! Just admit it!”[80]

Some of the abuses meted out to sex workers in police custody constitute torture under domestic law.  According to Mimi, who said she was assaulted by police along with two colleagues Yuanyuan and Shishi:

They attached us to trees, threw freezing cold water on us, and then proceeded to beat us.[81]

Xiaohuang says she was beaten by police in Beijing:

The first time I was arrested, they had no proof of prostitution. The police interrogated me, and threatened me. They used verbal abuse and violent methods to make me confess. I refused to, regardless of how hard they beat me. They finally let me go.[82]

Yingying, a 42-year-old from Chongqing, recounted:

The police will sometimes extort confessions out of you. They’ll beat and insult sex workers, and extort confessions out of you. If you can’t endure the process, then you just give up and admit [it].[83]

Xiao Li, from rural Hubei, told Human Rights Watch that admitting to sex work under duress also entails risks:

After you are arrested and taken to the police station, they need to get you to admit [to prostitution]. They look for evidence. If you don’t admit, they’ll beat you. But if you can bear the beating, usually they’ll detain you for 24 hours and then let you go. But if you admit to prostitution when they beat you, [you might] be sent to Re-education Through Labor for six months.[84]

Experiences of manifestly unlawful abuses while in police custody, as well as the trauma that often results from such episodes, constitute a powerful deterrent for sex workers to turn to other police to report these or other crimes. None of the women we interviewed said they had lodged a complaint or filed criminal charges against police who had abused them.

Violence at the Time of Arrest

Although the worst abuses documented by Human Rights Watch took place while women were in custody, several interviewees also said they experienced police brutality while being arrested. Mimi, who has been soliciting sex in a park in Beijing since she divorced her husband in 2000, told Human Rights Watch that a police officer hit her head against the wall while he was arresting her: “The police ran after me, grabbed me, and smashed my head into the wall.”[85]

Neighborhood level police sometimes employ “auxiliaries” (zhi’an lianfang), who are not generally trained or monitored, and who have a reputation for brutality among sex workers.[86] Auxiliaries are contractors who are not officially part of the police force but assist police officers in their missions.[87] Several women interviewed by Human Rights Watch said auxiliaries beat them during arrests for suspected prostitution. Xiao Mei told of having been beaten by police auxiliaries in Beijing in 2010 under the watch of police officers:

Last year when I was soliciting on the street, the police just came and started beating me. They made the assistant police beat me. There were five or six of them; they just beat me to a pulp.[88]

Meimei, a young woman from Hebei who solicits in a public park in Beijing, also told Human Rights Watch that she had been beaten by an auxiliary acting on the orders of a police officer:

Once in 2005, I had already settled on a price with a client. But I had a feeling that someone was following us from behind, so to be safe, I told the client that I wasn’t willing to do it. I got arrested anyway. The police officer said the client had solicited me, and wanted me to admit it. Because I didn’t admit it, the assistant police beat me, and as he was beating me he said there was a reason he was beating me, I was a whore. The police officer stood by the side and watched. He pretended that he didn’t know what was going on. That is the most horrible thing that has ever happened to me in my life.[89]

Arbitrary Arrest and Detention

Women engaged in sex work interviewed by Human Rights Watch described severe procedural irregularities in the arrest process. Interviewees reported that police rarely told sex workers why they were being detained or whether they were charged with an offense.

Caihong, for example, said:

I was once arrested when I was just in the venue. I wasn’t doing anything. When I was arrested, I don’t know what reason they gave to detain me. They didn’t say.[90]

Zhanghua, who had just arrived in Beijing a month prior to her arrest and was working in a hair salon but had not yet become involved in the sex trade, told Human Rights Watch that she was falsely accused of selling sex and that the police forced her to confess:

They told me it was fine, all I needed to do was sign my name and they would release me after four or five days. They deceived me into signing. That is really morally reprehensible. Instead, I was locked up in Custody and Education center for six months.[91]

In some cases, sex workers are released after detention at the police station, oftentimes after paying a fine or a bribe:

I was once arrested and had to pay a 3,000 yuan (US$485) bribe to be let go. I know it was a bribe because the police didn’t give me a voucher receipt. I know they should give one because I attended a NGO training. That’s how I learned that they were not following the right procedures. [92]

She said the police did not return the money to her once she was released.

Sex workers also run the risk of being arrested and detained as retribution against managers of entertainment venues who have displeased local power holders. Tingting, a 31-year-old karaoke hostess in Beijing, described one such incident:

When I was working at [a previous entertainment venue], they [the police] told us we were arrested because our boss offended someone. That was the first time I was arrested. They just kept us for a couple hours and released us.[93]

Zhanghua, who worked in a massage parlor that also provides sexual services, said the police were predisposed to trust false statements from clients:

One client came to our massage parlor to get a regular foot massage. He left after a few minutes, because he thought the price of the foot massage was not appropriate. A few minutes later, the police came and arrested us for prostitution. They said the man had said we offered him sexual services. But we had not. I felt so wronged. Those police officers will do whatever it takes to get the results they want.[94]

One woman told Human Rights Watch that it was illegal for police to arrest clients:

The police don’t have the right to interrogate clients, they are only allowed to interrogate sex workers. If they are good clients, they’ll say the girl is a friend of theirs and that there isn’t a problem. If it’s a bad client, then the girl will get into trouble.[95]

In fact, by law, clients as well as sex workers are liable for legal penalties and, particularly during anti-prostitution drives, some clients are fined or administratively detained.

Other Violations

Use of Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution

As mentioned above, administrative punishments for prostitution in China, including fines and fixed-term detention, require evidence that sexual services were provided in exchange for money or property.[96] Despite regulations specifically forbidding the practice, sex workers told Human Rights Watch that on occasion police in Beijing used mere possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution.[97]  This practice deters sex workers from carrying condoms, putting them at increased risk of HIV.[98] One woman told Human Rights Watch:

In the police station…they will look to see if you have condoms, and will ask you why. The law says it is not a problem [to carry condoms], but the police act differently.[99]

Several women engaged in sex work reported that police interrogated them about why they had condoms without any evidence of prostitution. Shushu, for example, said that when police in Beijing questioned her they asked her about condoms she had in her possession:

They saw my condoms, and asked how many I use every day, how many men do I have sex with.[100]

In addition, police reports of sex worker detentions, as recounted in Chinese media, frequently note the number of condoms found at the scene.[101] For example, a Hainan news outlet in 2009 reported on the police gathering condoms to use as evidence at the scene of a prostitution arrest.[102] Similar cases have been reported elsewhere.[103]

Entrapment, Bribes, and Police Solicitations for Sex

Law enforcement agents sometimes extort sex from sex workers. Several interviewees reported having police officers as clients who do not pay for sexual services, allegedly in exchange for protection for the venue. Jia Yue, who works in a massage parlor in Beijing, said:

One local police officer here said that if we had sex with him, he would protect us. Police won’t pay in those cases. If they want sex, they’ll get sex from us. But when we asked for his help once, he didn’t help. The police really don’t care about sex workers.[104]

Jingying, a 23-year-old from Sichuan who works in Beijing, said police had also extorted sex from her, and she felt it was futile to report this to the police:

At first, I didn’t know he was a police officer. After three hours, he refused to pay. The boss told me to let it go because he was a cop. I felt really wronged, but didn’t get any money. You can’t report that kind of thing to the police. Lots of them come here.[105]

Xiao Yue, who started selling sex in Beijing after being laid off from her factory job in Heilongjiang, reported a police officer posing as a client, having sex with her, and then arresting her. After arresting her, the undercover police officer allegedly said to her:

We can solicit sex wherever we want, whenever we want. After we’re done, we still have our job to do, we will still crack down on prostitution.[106]

Jianmei, a 22-year-old from Sichuan working in a massage parlor in Beijing, told Human Rights Watch that police entrapped her and other sex workers in order to extort money:

The police are really unfair. In this neighborhood, when there are crackdowns and they want to earn more money, they arrange to have a client come into our venue and ask for sexual services. Once the services have started, the client calls the police, who arrest us both. They then fine the sex worker, and split the money with the client.[107]

Sex workers are sometimes victims of police retribution if they refuse their sexual advances:

One off-duty police officer solicited me one night. He was really drunk, and very rude. I had to hit him with my purse and run away from him. He and some other police officers arrested me the next day and detained me overnight…It’s because I hit him.[108]

Women in sex work also said that at times police officers extort bribes from clients in facilities they raid:

Police once busted us—three men and two girls. They came in with a gun. The guys just handed over 30 or 40,000 yuan (US$4,500-6,000) and they left. The police then took us in to the station.[109]

Xiao Mei, who had been arrested five times in 2008-2009 by the police in Beijing, described how police used their knowledge of her past arrests to extort money from her:

Last time I was arrested, I was just standing on the street doing nothing wrong. The police took me in, and put a lot of pressure on me. They forced me to admit that I had engaged in prostitution. I paid a 3,000 yuan fine (US$485) and they let me go after 24 hours.[110]

Barriers to Justice after Client or Police Abuse

Women engaging in sex work face significant barriers to justice after abuse by police, clients, or managers.  All women engaged in sex work interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that they felt it was futile to report crimes committed against them to law enforcement officers. They said they believed the police would refuse to investigate complaints if police suspected the women were engaged in prostitution, would not undertake serious investigations of fellow police officers, or might even detain the women themselves if they exposed that they were victims in the course of engaging in sex work. The few sex workers who had reported crimes said the police did not pursue the cases.  Domestic Chinese NGOs have reported similar findings.[111]

Xiaohuang, from rural northwestern China, told Human Rights Watch that Beijing police refused to accept her complaint when she tried to report that someone had drugged her by spiking her drink in a bar:

I was working in an entertainment venue, and left to go to the bathroom. I think the client spiked my drink then […] I passed out. I don’t remember what happened afterwards, I only woke up the next day feeling horrible. I went to the police but when I told them where I worked, they told me to leave and that I deserved it.[112]

Juanxiu, a 42-year-old from Zhejiang province who worked in a foot massage parlor in Beijing, reported similar lack of police response when she was robbed:

Once three men came into our venue.  They noticed my purse hanging by the door.  When they left, they just took it away with them. I reported it to the police.  But they weren’t going to make a concerted effort to find it…The police won’t take us seriously.[113]

Xiaoyue, who has been selling sex for 17 years to pay for her son’s education, told Human Rights Watch that she had been raped by a client, but that when she reported it to the police, she felt like they did not take her claim seriously:

It had no effect, and I felt like I could not voice my grievance.[114]

One woman said she was convinced that filing a criminal complaint after she was robbed led to many subsequent detentions for prostitution. Xiaojing said:

I was once robbed at knifepoint by a client…I decided to follow the rules like a normal person [i.e., a non-sex worker], and reported the crime to the police. But the case was never solved, there was no outcome… After that, I was arrested for prostitution many times by the police, they identified me as a sex worker because I had reported the robbery.[115]

Another said:

I’ve encountered clients who have stolen my cell phone, or who haven’t paid me. I’ve dealt with it on my own, or have asked friends to help. I don’t seek out the police. Other sex workers I know who have encountered such problems also just deal with it on their own.[116]

Mimi, a farmer in Henan prior to moving to Beijing and entering the sex trade, told Human Rights Watch:

My friend got her bag stolen by a client, who also beat and wounded her. She eventually reported it to the police, but they refused to handle the case.[117]

Mimi said that her friend’s experience made it unlikely she would report anything the next time she was a victim of crime. Some sex workers do not contact police even when they are victims of serious physical and sexual violence, including rape:

I’ve been raped several times. But because I am a sex worker, and selling sex is a violation of the law, I could be arrested. So I have never been willing to report to the police. I just have to grin and bear it.[118]

Lingxue, who recounted having been raped, said that she had not contacted the police:

I went to a hotel with one client, and when I arrived, three of his friends were also there. They raped me all night. I wasn’t willing to report to the police. I just cried for weeks. My friends told me to report it.[119]

Similarly, Lili said:

If I experience client violence, I’ll try to talk him out of it. If it is really unbearable, I’ll just leave without getting paid. In any case, I would never report to the police.[120]

Some women engaged in sex work told Human Rights Watch that they had not reported crimes committed against fellow sex workers, also out of fear or a sense of futility. Manqing said she once saw a woman who was taken away unconscious by the client who had beaten her at their workplace in Beijing:

Once a client started kicking and beating a girl who worked in our venue. He beat her unconscious. Then, he took her away in his car. We didn’t call the police because we didn’t want to encounter any trouble. I don’t know what happened to her that night, but she eventually came back to work.[121]

Even women who had previously been victims of trafficking told Human Rights Watch that, at the time, they did not dare seek police assistance. Mengfei, trafficked into forced prostitution at age 15, said that even though the police came to the venue where she was working, she was too afraid to approach them:

I met a woman who said she would help me find a job and feed me. When she told me she would pay me 2,000 yuan (US$324) to host clients in a karaoke bar, I wanted to run away. But I couldn’t escape. Then, she and her boyfriend told me that I would have to sell sex. I hid in a room and cried, and when they found me, they beat me and broke my nose. Then they forced me to work…The police once came to the karaoke bar, but I was too scared to ask for help.[122]

The failure of law enforcement to respond appropriately when crimes against sex workers are brought to their attention leads to severe under-reporting of such crimes.  It also contributes to the perception that crimes against sex workers are less serious and less worthy of investigation than crimes against people who do not engage in prostitution.

Police Abuse as a Violation of Domestic Laws, Regulations, and Policies

Many of the abuses described above are clear-cut violations of existing Chinese law.

Arbitrary sentencing to detention violates the Regulations on the Procedures for Handling Administrative Cases by Public Security organs. These regulations require that at least two officers investigate an unlawful act, and that they show official identification.[123] The suspect is to be summoned to the police station and interviewed.[124] A permanent written record of the interview must be made and approved by the suspect.[125] A written decision must provide evidence, and reasons and legal basis for the decision.[126] The suspect must be informed of their right to appeal the decision, and must be able to appeal without fear of being penalized even more harshly.[127]

Physical abuse and torture of sex workers by police, and police sex with a sex worker prior to arrest, are violations of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the People’s Police Law of the People’s Republic of China, and the Prison Law of the People’s Republic of China.

Article 38 of the Constitution guarantees “the personal dignity of citizens.” According to the Police Law, law enforcement agents must “exercise their functions and powers respectively in accordance with the provisions of relevant laws and administrative rules and regulations.”[128] They may not inflict bodily punishment on detainees.[129] The Prison Law prohibits guards from violating the personal safety of detainees, using torture or corporal punishment, beating or conniving with others to beat a prisoner, or humiliating the human dignity of a prisoner.[130]

The use of condoms as evidence of prostitution is a violation of the 1998 “Notice on Principles for Propaganda and Education Concerning AIDS Prevention,” which instructs police to “refrain from using condoms as evidence of prostitution.”[131]

The National Human Rights Action Plan of the Chinese government denounces “corporal punishment, abuses, insult of detainees or extraction of confessions by torture.”[132] It further requires police and prison authorities to “undertake effective measures to prohibit abuse and insult of detainees.”[133]

In failing to take crimes against sex workers seriously, the police are violating the Police Law, which obligates them to “prevent, stop and investigate illegal and criminal activities.”[134] Police who fail to do so are guilty of dereliction of duty and liable to administrative sanctions and possible criminal prosecution.[135]

Chinese activists have argued that public shaming is also a violation of the Chinese Constitution, which guarantees that “[t]he personal dignity of citizens of the People’s Republic of China is inviolable. Insult, libel, false accusation, or false incrimination directed against citizens by any means is prohibited.”[136]

Police Abuse as a Violation of International Law

Arbitrary arrest and detention of sex workers is a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Although China has not ratified the ICCPR, it is a signatory, and should thus abstain from taking steps that contravene that Covenant.[137] The ICCPR stipulates that “[e]veryone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.”[138] At the time of their arrest, everyone “shall be informed…of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.”[139] Any person detained on grounds that are not in accordance with the law is detained arbitrarily and therefore unlawfully.

Detention is also considered arbitrary, even if authorized by law, if it includes “elements of inappropriateness, injustice, lack of predictability and due process of law.”[140]

Physical beatings and public shaming of sex workers constitute torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment under international law, as well as violations of the right to physical integrity guaranteed under article 9 of the ICCPR. China is a party to the U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.[141]Article 1 defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as…intimidating or coercing him …when such pain or suffering is inflicted by…or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”[142]

Under its obligation as a party to the U.N. Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), China has agreed to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women.”[143] The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, a committee of experts that monitor states parties implementation of CEDAW, has clarified that the anti-discrimination provisions of CEDAW apply to gender-based violence, defined as “violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately. It includes acts that inflict physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty.” Police violence disproportionately directed at women suspected of engaging in sex work constitutes a form of gender-based discrimination.

Article 6 of CEDAW requires that states take measures to suppress all forms of trafficking in women and exploitation of the prostitution of women. The CEDAW Committee has emphasized that: “Poverty and unemployment force many women, including young girls, into prostitution. Prostitutes are especially vulnerable to violence because their status, which may be unlawful, tends to marginalize them. They need the equal protection of laws against rape and other forms of violence.”[144]

[76] Government of the People’s Republic of China, Combined fifth and sixth periodic report of States Parties to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, CEDAW /C/CHN/5-6, June 10, 2004.

[77] Public Security Organs People's Police Discipline Regulations (国务院: 公安机关人民警察纪律条令), State Council of the People’s Republic of China, April 10, 2010, effective June 1, 2010, http://edu.sina.com.cn/official/2010-05-07/1153245435.shtml (accessed April 16, 2013).

[78] Human Rights Watch, Walking on Thin Ice.

[79] Lijia Zhang, “In China, sex workers' lack of legal protection fans police abuse,” South China Morning Post, December 14, 2012, http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1104637/china-sex-workers-lack-legal-protection-fans-police-abuse (accessed April 18, 2013).

[80] Human Rights Watch interview with Xiao Yue, Beijing, 2011.

[81] Human Rights Watch interview with Mimi, Beijing 2011. Torture while in police custody is widely reported in China. See, for example, Human Rights Watch, Where Darkness Knows No Limits; Human Rights Watch, An Unbreakable Cycle; and Human Rights Watch, An Alleyway in Hell.

[82] Human Rights Watch interview with Xiao Huang, Beijing, 2009.

[83] Human Rights Watch interview with Yingying, Beijing, 2009.

[84] Human Rights Watch interview with Xiao Li, Beijing 2011.

[85] Human Rights Watch interview with Mimi, Beijing, 2011.

[86] Human Rights Watch interview with staff member of domestic civil society organization, Beijing, 2011.

[87]Regulations on the Duties and responsibilities of Auxiliaries (京政办发: 关于职工群众治安联防队的任务和队员职责的规定), General Affairs Department of Beijing Municipality, May 20, 1985, http://code.fabao365.com/law_462409.html  (accessed April 2, 2013). See also Flora Sapio, Sovereign Power and the Law in China: Zones of Exception in the Criminal Justice System (Leiden: Brill, 2010), pp. 139-174.

[88] Human Rights Watch interview with Xiaomei, Beijing, 2009.

[89] Human Rights Watch interview with Meimei, Beijing, 2011.

[90] Human Rights Watch interview with Caihong, Beijing, 2009.

[91] Human Rights Watch interview with Zhanghua, Beijing, 2009.

[92] Human Rights Watch interview with Meimei, Beijing, 2011.

[93] Human Rights Watch interview with Tingting, Beijing, 2009.

[94]Human Rights Watch interview with Zhanghua, Beijing, 2009.

[95]Human Rights Watch interview with Caihong, Beijing, 2009.

[96] Guizhou Province Regulations on the Prohibition of Prostitution (贵州省禁止卖淫嫖娼的规定), Guizhou Province People’s Congress, 2004, art. 2; Hunan Province Regulations on the Prohibition of Prostitution (湖南省禁止卖淫嫖娼条例), Hunan Province People’s Congress, 1990, art. 3; Heilongjiang Province Regulations on the Prohibition of Prostitution (黑龙江省严禁卖淫嫖娼的规定), Heilongjiang Province People’s Congress, 1996, art. 2.

[97]Notice on Principles for Propaganda and Education Concerning AIDS Prevention (关于印发预防艾滋病性病宣传教育原则的通知), January 8, 1998, http://www.law-lib.com/law/law_view.asp?id=98186 (accessed February 29, 2012). This Notice is jointly issued by the Central Committee of the Chinese Community Party and nine other government departments, including the Ministry of Public Security and the Health Ministry. It reads: “it is necessary to refrain from using condoms as evidence of prostitution.”

[98]Joseph Lau et al., “A Study on Female Sex Workers in Southern China (Shenzhen): HIV-related Knowledge, Condom Use and STD History,” AIDS Care, vol. 14, no. 2 (April 2002), pp. 219–233; Guomei Xia and Xiushi Yang, “Risky Sexual Behavior Among Female Entertainment Workers in China: Implications for HIV/STD Prevention Intervention,” AIDS Education and Prevention: Official Publication of the International Society for AIDS Education, vol. 17, no. 2 (April 2005), pp. 143–156; Joseph D. Tucker and Xin Ren, “Sex Worker Incarceration in the People’s Republic of China,” Sexually Transmitted Infections, vol. 84, no.1, (February 2008); Scott Burris and Guomei Xia, “The ‘Risk Environment’ For Commercial Sex Work In China: Considering the Role of Law and Law Enforcement Practices,” in Gender Policy and HIV in China, (Deventer: Springer Netherlands, 2009); Kenneth C. Land, ed., The Springer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis, (Deventer: Springer Netherlands, 2009).

[99]Human Rights Watch interview with Zhangping, Beijing, 2009.

[100]Human Rights Watch interview with Shushu, Beijing, 2009.

[101] “Women’s Health Center (妇女健康中心),” unpublished document, 2009 (on file with Human Rights Watch). Beijing Aizhixing, “Report on Ten Media Outlets Violating the ‘Principles for Propagating Education about HIV/AIDS Prevention,’ Suspected of Reporting about Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution (关于10家媒体违反《预防艾滋病性病宣传教育原则》涉嫌将避孕套作为卖淫佐证的报道),” 2010.

[102] Yang Zhen Dong, “Haikou Police Crackdown On Prostitution (海口警方扫黄),Hainan, August 4, 2009 http://news.hainan.net/newshtml08/2009w7r27/539353f0.htm (accessed March 23, 2011).

[103] “Women’s Health Center (妇女健康中心),” unpublished document, 2009 (on file with Human Rights Watch). Beijing Aizhixing, “Report on Ten Media Outlets Violating the ‘Principles for Propagating Education about HIV/AIDS Prevention,’ Suspected of Reporting about Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution (关于10家媒体违反《预防艾滋病性病宣传教育原则》涉嫌将避孕套作为卖淫佐证的报道),” 2010.

[104]Human Rights Watch interview with Jia Yue, Beijing, 2009.

[105] Human Rights Watch interview with Jingying, Beijing, 2009.

[106] Human Rights Watch interview with Xiao Yue, Beijing, 2011.

[107] Human Rights Watch interview with Jianmei, Beijing, 2009.

[108] Human Rights Watch interview with Jing’an, Beijing, 2009.

[109] Human Rights Watch interview with Lili, Beijing, 2011.

[110] Human Rights Watch interview with Xiaomei, Beijing, 2009.

[111] Beijing Aizhixing, “Report on Sex Work and Sex Worker Health and Human Rights 2008-2009 (中国行工作与性工作者健康与法律人权 20082009),” July 2009, p. 4.

[112] Human Rights Watch interview with Xiaohuang, Beijing, 2009.

[113] Human Rights Watch interview with Juanxiu, Beijing, 2009.

[114] Human Rights Watch interview with Xiaoyue, Beijing, 2011.

[115] Human Rights Watch interview with Xiaomei, Beijing, 2009.

[116] Human Rights Watch interview with Xiaoli, Beijing, 2011.

[117] Human Rights Watch interview with Mimi, Beijing, 2011.

[118] Human Rights Watch interview with Lijia, Beijing, 2009.

[119] Human Rights Watch interview with Lingxue, Beijing, 2009.

[120] Human Rights Watch interview with Lili, Beijing, 2011.

[121] Human Rights Watch interview with Manqing, Beijing, 2009.

[122] Human Rights Watch interview with Mengfei, Beijing, 2009.

[123]Biddulph, Legal Reform and Administrative Detention Powers in China, p. 171.

[124]Ibid.

[125]Ibid.

[126] Ibid., p. 172.

[127] Ibid.

[128] People’s Police law of the People’s Republic of China (中华人民共和国人民警察法), February 28, 1995, effective on February 28, 1995, art. 105.     

[129] Ibid, art. 22(4).

[130] People’s Prison law (中华人民共和国监狱法), adopted on December 29, 1994, art. 7, 3, 5, 14(4). Reeducation Through Labor, and Custody and Education regimes also prohibit mistreatment of inmates.

[131]Notice on Principles for Propaganda and Education Concerning AIDS Prevention (关于印发预防艾滋病性病宣传教育原则的通知), January 8, 1998, http://www.law-lib.com/law/law_view.asp?id=98186 (accessed February 29, 2012).

[132] National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2008-2010), April 13, 2009, http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-04/13/content_11177126_1.htm (accessed February 29, 2012).

[133]Ibid.

[134] People’s Police law of the People’s Republic of China (中华人民共和国人民警察法), February 28, 1995, art. 6(1).       

[135] Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administrative Penalty (行政处罚法), adopted on March 17, 1996, effective October 1, 1996, art. 62.

[136]Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, December 4, 1982, article 38; Wang Yi, “Do Prostitutes Deserve the Right of Dignity?,” WomenWatch, January 10, 2007, http://www.womenwatch-china.org/en/newsdetail.aspx?id=1688 (accessed February 29, 2012).

[137] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted December 16, 1966, G.A. Res. 2200A (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (no. 16) at 52, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), entered into force Mar. 23, 1976, signed by China on October 5, 1998; Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1155, p. 331, entered into force on January 27, 1980, art. 18, requires signatories to “refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose” of the treaty.

[138] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), art.9, 1.

[139] Ibid., art.9, 2.

[140]See Communication No. 458/1991, A. W. Mukong v. Cameroon (Views adopted on 21 July 1994), U.N. doc. GAOR, A/49/40 (vol. II), p. 181, para. 9.8.

[141] Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted December 10, 1984, G.A. res 39/46, annex, 39 U.N GAOR Supp. (No. 51) at 197, U.N. Doc. A/39/51 (1984), entered into force June 26, 1987, ratified by China on October 4, 1988.

[142]Ibid; Article 16 also calls on state parties of the Convention to “prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment which do not amount to torture as defined in article I, when such acts are committed by or…with the consent…of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”

[143] Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted December 18, 1979, G.A. res. 34/180, 34 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No.46) at 193, U.N. Doc. A/34/46, entered into force September 3, 1981, ratified by China on November 4, 1980, art. 2.

[144] UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, General Recommendation No. 19, Violence Against Women, A/47/38, para. 14.