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Sex Workers Protest Police Abuse - Some Arrests, Some Injuries

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Protesting sex workers arrested


SOME 15 sex workers demonstrating over  police abuse got short shrift  from the targets of their protest on Friday afternoon, June 2.

They were arrested in front of the the National Police HQ , in the district of Ancón.

They had marched peacefully   from Plaza 5 de Mayo, to the headquarters to demand the cessation  of police abuse against them.

The demonstration ended with clashes when  riot police officers appeared, and alleged that the protesters  obstructed the road.

The women workers had hoped to deliver a document to the National Police  director of, Omar Pinzón, asking  for action  letters against police abusers.

The detainees were transferred in  patrol wagons to the San Miguelpolice headquarters of, including the leader of the sex workers Gladys Murillo and the president of the Association of Men and New Women of Panama, Ricardo Beteta.

Marilyn Gonzalez, of the New Partnership ProIgualdad, claimed that the demonstrators were  given permission allowed to carry out the march and said they await the the Police statement  giving  the reasons why these people were arrested and if is not made, a criminal complaint will be filed.

Officials of the Ombudsman’s Office visited  the police station in San Miguel to verify the conditions in which the detainees were. members of four organizations  including a journalist Sharon Pringle.

Gladys Murillo complained that numbers of  her companions are detained every day, and fined. She  said that many of them, out of fear, do not dare to file complaints and their human rights are violated, reports El Siglo.

She added that abuses happen more against “autonomous” sex workers, who do not work for pimps.

Irina Ceballos, who has been a prostitute for 10 years, alleged that she was a victim of police abuse on April 1, when she went to defend a comrade who had been arrested and taken to the San Miguel barracks. There she was verbally harassed by a policeman.

“When I arrived at the barracks and asked a police officer  for my partner, he treated me rudely. He pepper sprayed scuttled and kicked me, and smashed me into a car,’” Ceballos complained.

She hopes with the march to sensitize  policemen and realize that the sex workers also have family.

The National Police reported that 15 people (11 women and 4 men) were detained because they were obstructing free vehicular traffic at the police headquarters and preventing the departure of  police support staff and ambulances .

It was reported that those arrested were released, at around 9:00 p.m., after mediation by the rector of the University of Panama, Eduardo Flores Castro.



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  • Admin_01 changed the title to Sex Workers Arrested While Protesting Police Abuse
  • Admin_01 changed the title to Prostitutes Protest Police Abuse, Some Arrests, Some Injuries
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Sex workers hospitalized by police action


THREE  SEX WORKERS were hospitalized due to injuries received from police during a peaceful demonstration on Friday, June 2, says the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman’s Office, which was present  has criticized the actions taken by police when at least 15 people were arrested while conducting a demonstration outside police headquarters in Ancón.

Members of  several groups were protesting over accusations  made by sex workers about abuses committed against them by police officers.

In a statement, the Ombudsman’s Office said  that the event was organized to deliver a letter addressed to Police Director Omar Pinzon to demand a halt to the abuses.

Staff from the office were at the event and witnessed the events.

Three people were hospitalized due to injuries they received during the protest at the hands of police.

“As an institution of human rights, we remind the authorities, and especially the National Police, that it is their constitutional duty to protect and serve the citizens and to allow the full exercise of the right to peaceful demonstration,” the office said.


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