Police officers in Communist Vietnam, seen as notoriously corrupt by the country’s citizens, have been banned from wearing sunglasses while on duty, and can no longer be “heavily drunk” at any time or any place.
A media report notes the country’s government has also ordered the police to maintain appropriate manners, must be in the right position while on duty, and are prohibited from alcohol consumption while on duty.
In addition to the sunglasses ban, the new order by Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security notes traffic cops cannot hide behind trees to ambush and fine passengers, according to Tuoi Tre News (TTN).
A growing trend of police brutality has been occurring in the country. A report last September by Human Rights Watch( HRW) noted 19 reported incidents in the previous year which led to 15 deaths and the group called for a thorough and transparent investigation into the beatings and deaths.
“Police brutality is being reported at an alarming rate in every region of Vietnam, raising serious concerns that these abuses are both systemic and widespread,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of HRW, in the report.
The HRW report notes police brutality is widespread in the country, including provinces from north to south, from the central coast to remote highlands, and in major cities.
Although there has been media coverage of police brutality, it has been uneven, and HRW has raised concerns over the government’s control of the press in Vietnam.
Under the new order, on-duty police are also banned from making or answering non-work related phone calls or drinking alcohol, and according to TTN, the ministry notes police
are not allowed to be heavily drunk at any time and any place.
The police officers can no longer place their hands in their pants or coat pockets while on street patrol duty, monitoring traffic or when in public places, nor can chat or read books while on duty.
The new order also bans the country’s police from eating at restaurants illegally encroaching onto pavements.