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Vietnamese Guest Workers in Taiwan Protest After Local Police Fatally Shot Worker

Migrant workers and labor activists have protested the deadly shooting of a Vietnamese guest worker who resisted arrest by Taiwanese police on August 31.

VnExpress reports that a protest took place outside Taiwan's National Police Agency (NPA) headquarters in Taipei earlier this week. The group demanded that police publicize surveillance video of the shooting which took place late last month.

Nguyen Quoc Phi, a 27-year-old Vietnamese migrant worker, was shot nine times after two police officers attempted to arrest him while he was trying to steal a car in Hsinchu County, southwest of Taipei.

The NPA alleges that Phi punched one officer in the face, fracturing his nose, and then threw stones at the pair after being pepper sprayed. He then tried to get into their police car, after which he was shot. Phi was rushed to a local hospital but could not be revived, the news source shares.

Controversy has flared in the wake of the shooting, Taiwan News adds. Chen Hsiu-lien, a researcher at the Taiwan International Workers' Association, has demanded to see dashboard video to determine whether Phi's actions necessitated such a deadly response.

Meanwhile Yibee Huang, CEO of Covenants Watch, a Taiwanese human rights advocacy group, said: "If the exact same scenario involved a Taiwanese citizen or a Western person, would the police handle the situation in the same way?"

Taiwan is a very popular choice for Vietnamese workers looking to find jobs overseas, VnExpress explains. In 2015, the island nation lifted a decade-long ban on Vietnamese guest workers. In the first seven months of this year, nearly half of the 69,000 guest workers which the Southeast Asian nation sent abroad went to Taiwan.

In the wake of the shooting, Chen Hung-yao, a section chief at the NPA,  told Taiwan News that he had received a petition letter from the protesters and passed the case on to prosecutors for further investigation. The Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei will also be involved.

In another article Tuoi Tre reports that the above-mentioned office determined that Phi had been working in Taiwan illegally for the last three years after completing a six-year contract.

[Photo via Zing]

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- Taiwan Ranks 1st, Vietnam Moves Up 4 Spots in Expat Quality of Life Survey

- Taiwan to Start Teaching Vietnamese in Grades 3-12 in 2018


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