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HONGKONG - Apr 19, 2005

Ten officers from Hong Kong's Police Tactical Unit organized an elaborate and expensive panty raid on a fashion show on the evening of Dec 16. Sponsored by Dim Sum gay magazine, Hong Kong's small-format gay zine for the Hong Kong gay scene, the event drew hundreds of people who were enjoying themselves at Zip bar at King's Hotel in Wan Chai when the raid occured.

Just after midnight, at the end of a show which featured professional choreography and fashion models, the music stopped and the police began a two hour search of the 300 guests.

Police have denied that they targeted the event because it was for gays, but they refused to give a reason why such a large team of police as well as undercover investigators had set up the costly sting operation which inconvenienced hundreds well-behaved citizens. Only one person was held by police for drug possession.

Although homosexuality was decriminalized in 1991, police seem to be once again harassing the gay community. This mystifying return to days of prejudice suspiciously coincides with the Hong Kong legislature's current consideration of expanding rights to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination.


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