Thursday, September 10, 1998

Taiwan prostitutes sue Taipei mayor

TAIPEI -- Taiwan prostitutes...Thursday sued the mayor of Taipei, saying he had deprived them of their "working freedom and rights."

In a statement, members of the Prostitutes' Self-Saving League said Mayor Chen Shui-bian...violated the constitution by depriving them of their freedom and right to work.

"Under the constitution, everyone is given the right and freedom to work, and Chen Shui-bian unilaterally removed our rights and freedom by cancelling our working licences in September 1997 without consulting us," the league said.

Chen had even defied a December 1997 city council order to restore the prostitutes' working status, the league said.

Chen has not commented on the charges.

Before Chen ordered the revocation of their licences, Taipei still had 200 legal prostitutes who worked under permits issued by the city government under a system dating back to the 1950s.

Chen, a member of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party, decided to clean up the city two years after he took the mayoral post in 1995 from the ruling Nationalist Party.

Court officials said they would study the suit before deciding whether to summon Chen for a hearing.

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Created: December 20, 1998
Last modified: December 20, 1998

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