Father of Vietnamese worker raises questions about son's death

2017/09/12 18:18:14 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Father of Vietnamese worker raises questions about son's death

Taipei, Sept. 12 (CNA) The father of a runaway Vietnamese worker who was recently shot dead by Taiwanese police has been questioning the circumstances of his son's death, saying the explanation by the authorities does not add up, a group advocating the rights of migrant workers said Tuesday.

According to the police, 27-year-old Nguyen Quoc Phi was resisting arrest and trying to steal their car when they shot him dead in Hsinchu County on Aug. 31.

In the letter obtained by the Taiwan International Workers' Association, however, Nguyen's father questioned whether his son would attempt to steal a car when he did not even know how to drive.

Calling on the Taiwan government to investigate the circumstances of Nguyen's death, the father also said migrant workers in Taiwan who abscond usually do so to avoid the high brokerage fees.

Nguyen was shot nine times by police, who said they had first tried to subdue him with a baton and pepper spray while trying to arrest him for alleged theft and vandalism.

The case has sparked debate in some quarters, with some people raising issues of police brutality and racial profiling.

When asked about the issue Tuesday, Cheng Ming-chung (鄭明忠), a section chief at the National Police Agency's (NPA) International Affairs Division, said the police will cooperate with an ongoing investigation by prosecutors to help clear up the matter.

He said the NPA attaches great importance to the issue of gun use by police officers and and will strengthen their training.

Also on Tuesday, Lai Yu-fen (賴毓棻), an official at the Vietnamese Migrant Workers and Brides Office at the Catholic Church's Hsinchu Diocese, said that because Taiwan's Employment and Services Act does not allow migrant workers to change employers freely, many workers who cannot cope with poor working conditions often choose to abscond.

In some cases, migrant workers who file reports of disputes with their employers or leave their workplaces to seek outside help are reported by their employers as absconding, Lai said.

She said the reporting system has been abused by employers as a tool to deal with defiant employees and to prevent them from filing reports about disputes.

(By Wu Hsin-yun, Chu Che-wei and Y.F. Low)

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