Vietnam suspends 7 police over video clip scandal

A clip shows women with a shirtless client in what appears to be a hotel room.

Hanoi: Vietnam has suspended seven policemen for allegedly filming the arrest of two naked prostitutes, state media reported on Saturday.

The clip, which was posted on the Internet, shows the women with a shirtless client in what appears to be a hotel room, while several other men in civilian clothes, take notes.

The women try to cover themselves, but are ordered to stand and put their hands up for one of the clothed men to take pictures.

The identities of the clothed men are not clear, but it is suspected that they are police.

The video has caused public outrage. In comments posted in the online edition of Tuoi Tre, reader Truong Yen Nhi said the women were treated worse than animals. Nguyen Van Minh said the police should be severely punished to "ensure human rights”.

The paper quoted Major General Nguyen Huu Tuoc, police chief of northern Quang Ninh province, as saying one of the seven policemen used his mobile phone to film the women during their arrest in June with two male clients.

The policemen claimed they were filming the arrest as evidence, the report said. The mobile phone that was used to film the clip broke and was sent to a repair shop. The policemen had no idea how the clip was posted on the Internet, Tuoi Tre said.

US-based Human Rights Watch said in September that it has documented 19 incidents of police brutality, resulting in 15 deaths, all reported in Vietnamese state-controlled media in the past year.

However, there were no reports that any police officers were convicted for their actions.