Chinese prostitutes denounce Paris police 'intimidation' and 'humiliation'

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Paris police in May began a heavy-handed crackdown on the growing numbers of Chinese prostitutes working the streets of Belleville, a multi-ethnic, working-class neighbourhood in the north of the capital. The local authorities say the operation was to prevent Belleville from becoming the city’s centre of “open air prostitution”, but the sex workers complain of violent and humiliating behaviour by police officers that has left them exposed to greater dangers. Julien Sartre reports.

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“I can’t leave my home, I’m afraid to go shopping, and I haven’t had a client for three weeks,” said Yuyi, 45, a Chinese prostitute based in the Belleville neighbourhood of north Paris.