Migrant workers protest in Taiwan after police shoot Vietnamese man dead: reports

By Minh Nga   September 6, 2017 | 02:11 pm GMT+7

The man was shot nine times after he allegedly assaulted police officers.

Vietnamese migrant workers and labor rights activists held a protest on Monday in Taipei City in Taiwan following the fatal shooting of a Vietnamese worker by police.

Protesters gathered in front of the National Police Agency (NPA), demanding that surveillance footage and images of the incident on August 31 be made public, and for the case to be thoroughly investigated, Taiwan News reported on Monday.

The Vietnamese migrant worker, identified as Nguyen Quoc Phi, 27, was shot dead by a policeman in Hsinchu County after he allegedly assaulted officers who were trying to stop him from vandalizing and stealing a car.

According to the NPA, Phi resisted two police officers who tried to arrest him, punching one of them in the face.

The officers used pepper spray to try to subdue him, but he continued to resist by throwing stones at them from an irrigation ditch while he rinsed his eyes out, the agency said. It added that when Phi tried to climb into the police patrol car, one officer opened fire and shot him nine times.

Hsinchu police said they immediately transferred Phi to a hospital, but he was later pronounced dead.

Chen Hsiu-lien, a researcher at the Taiwan International Workers' Association, asked for CCTV or dashboard video to prove that Phi was a serious enough threat to be shot at so many times by the police.

"If the exact same scenario involved a Taiwanese citizen or a Western person, would the police handle the situation in the same way?" Taiwan News quoted Yibee Huang, chief executive officer of human rights group Covenants Watch, as saying

Chen Hung-yao, a section chief at the NPA, has handed the case to prosecutors for investigation.

He promised to assist Phi’s family and coordinate with the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei to handle the aftermath of the incident.

Taiwan lifted a 10-year ban on certain categories of Vietnamese workers in 2015, and has since been the leading destination for Vietnamese guest workers.

Of the 69,000 Vietnamese guest workers who went abroad in the first seven months of the year, almost half went to Taiwan, followed by Japan with 27,000 and South Korea with 3,200, official data from Vietnam's labor ministry showed.