VIETNAM - Nov 8, 2002
In a step backward for emerging Vietnam, police are reported to have raided a gay sauna and arrested 30 men for undisclosed reasons (homosexual activity is not illegal in Vietnam). A nameless official has been quoted in the press offering lame and irrational reasons for the sudden crack-down on the private, club for adult citizens. The men have reportedly been ordered to attend re-education classes.
Typically, this sort of misguided police harassment backfires, generating huge amounts of publicity among Vietnamese and visitors who might not have otherwise known that all sorts of places exist for gay men to socialize together in Ho Chi Minh City.
Shamefully, police seem to ignore criminals who prey on gays, such as the karaoke extortion scams in Hanoi which have been growing progressively violent.
See a related press release from the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center