Male Police Officer Dismissed For Wearing Long Hair Draws Criticism in Taiwan

Male Police Officer Dismissed For Wearing Long Hair Draws Criticism in Taiwan

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Deputy Secretary General of Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR) Shi Yi-xiang points out that the National Police Agency (NPA) does not care about wearing long hair or not. The NPA is worried that once they give in and set a precedent, the police will start questioning the value of their superiors' commands.

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Recently a male police officer Ye Ji-yuan who served under the Second Special Police Corps was dismissed because of wearing long hair. In response to the event, on December 23, the Taiwan Police Rights Association and other supporting lawyers and human rights organizations protested in front of the National Police Agency (NPA), saying that Ye’s dismissal is against the Act of Gender Equality in Employment. In addition to requesting Director-General Chen Kuo-en to make a public reponse, they also asked the NPA to withdraw Ye’s dismissal.

Apple Daily reports, Ye was also at the protest venue and told the director-general that he has done nothing that requires him to apologize to the NPA and the society. He stresses that he had been trying to communicate with his superiors, hoping to change the general atmosphere of Taiwanese police’s lack of understanding in gender identity. However, each time the higher-ups would say they would conduct further discussions and in the end, these discussions led to more intense punishments.

Deputy Secretary General of Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR) Shi Yi-xiang believes that Ye’s issue is not just about individual justice or gender discrimination. This issue is a good chance to publicly examine the police’s inappropriate values of retaining an authoritarian figure and not submitting to the laws and human rights.

Shi points out that the NPA does not care about wearing long hair or not. The NPA is worried that once they give in and set a precedent, the police will start questioning the value of their superiors’ commands.

Shi says, once Ye is allowed to wear long hair, the authority of senior police officers will decay. These police officers don’t stand for Ye, who strives for his own self-esteem; they will rather stand for a public perception that the police will always go beyond the Constitution. He notes that the Taiwanese police appears to have complied with human rights, but actually advocates the authority all the time.

Hu Bo-yan, law professor at Soochow University and representative of the supporting lawyers says, the police claim to be a disciplined corps, but more importantly, it should be a legal corps, not an authoritarian corps.

Disciplines must be in accordance with the laws, if the Second Special Police Corps does not want to comply with the Act of Gender Equality in Employment that has been implemented for 13 years, the commander can resign spontaneously. Hu also says, “If there is no rule of law in the NPA, the director-general may step down voluntarily, and nobody will stop you."

Ye’s appointed lawyer Guo De-tian points out that at the protest scene there was a female police officer wearing a ponytail. He says that this means even the NPA itself agrees with that wearing long hair will not affect the police officers’ performance when they are on duty, then why was Ye dismissed?

Translated by Vic Chiang
Edited by Olivia Yang

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