A sexual harasser gets the sack in Vietnam

By Hoang Tao   August 15, 2018 | 01:04 am PT
A sexual harasser gets the sack in Vietnam
Scratches on a woman's neck caused by harassment from a male colleague at a Quang Tri's government office. Photo by VnExpress/ Quang Ha
A provincial official has been dismissed for sexual harassment months after being slapped on the wrist for the crime.

In a rare victory, on Tuesday, a disciplinary panel of the People’s Committee of Trieu Phong District in the central province of Quang Tri voted unanimously to fire Nguyen Binh Trieu, 39, an official of its Finance and Planning Department, for sexually harassing a female colleague.

The previous day, Trieu was dismissed from the Communist Party for his “indisciplined lifestyle, sexual harassment in the workplace, dishonoring a colleague, evoking public outrage and reducing reputation of the workplace.”

In late June, a female staff of his department reported that Trieu had sexually harassed her. Trieu took a file to her office and used force to kiss and molest her. The victim tried to escape but was forced to sit. Few minutes later, she broke free in messy clothes, torn lips, bruises and scratches on her neck and arms.

However, the Trieu Phong District police concluded that Trieu’s behavior was only aimed at teasing and touching, and not tantamount to rape. It slapped a paltry fine of VND200,000 ($8.59) for offending someone’s honor, under government decree.

Trieu Phong District's disciplinary panel denounced the meager punishment that had enraged the public.

Sexual harassment is underreported in Vietnam and is not typically dealt with as a serious issue.

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