| |TAIWAN - Dec 20, 1998
Earlier this evening a squad of policemen broke into the popular and stylish Taipei gym and sauna complex, "AG Club," well-known among local and international gay men. This was not the first time that the gym has been raided by Police.
Two men were found caressing each other in a small cabin and were arrested on charges of “obscenity in public,” even though the small room within this private business was not in public view. The policemen demanded that the arrested men demonstrate how gay sex was performed in an attempt to fabricate photographic evidence.
A number of local gay activists soon arrived at the gym to protest against police misconduct, which seriously violated basic human rights. The policemen still insisted taking the two men back to the police station. One of the men was a visitor from Hong Kong, and the other is a local university student.
The police and the media (TV news) made allegations that AG Club was involved in the sex trade. The policemen found that the gym provided condoms for customers, and thus they imagined that prostitution may have been involved, when in fact AG is a place for like-minded men to meet and socialize as an alternative to commercial sex operations.
Harassment of gay social venues by the Taipei policemen has happened regularly in recent years. Targeted spots include cruising areas, public toilets, gyms and saunas. During these incidents gay people have suffered abuses and insults, with their personal data or photographs being recorded by the police.