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Outrage over no medical treatment for shot migrant worker in Taiwan

Footage apparently showing police and paramedics failing to give medical treatment to a Vietnamese migrant worker, who had been fatally shot by a police officer, has prompted outrage in Taiwan, reports BBC News.

Former factory worker Nguyen Quoc Phi, 27, was shot nine times in Hsinchu County near Taipei on 31 August, after the officer and a government worker responded to a reported car theft. Dashcam video from the first ambulance shows a police officer telling paramedics not to approach Nguyen because he had not been restrained. They stood by for several minutes not offering the man any help. The ambulance then took away the slightly injured government worker without attending to the severely wounded man lying on the ground. Despite his injuries, the casualty was handcuffed. A second ambulance later arrived but Nguyen was pronounced dead when he arrived at hospital.

The report says Taiwan's government watchdog Control Yuan has launched an investigation into what happened amid protests by rights groups. Prosecutors have also begun an inquiry. And, the case has sparked debate about the treatment of migrant workers in the country.

Asked why emergency crews did not help Nguyen immediately, a paramedic from the Hsinchu County Fire Bureau's San Chi substation told the BBC: "The police officer told us not to get close. What if (the migrant) suddenly became crazy and did something? And he hadn't been handcuffed, so we couldn't do anything."

The National Police Agency had said Nguyen had attacked the officer and the government worker when they tried to stop him from vandalising and stealing a car. But his father questioned the police's version of events. "I don't believe what the police said that my son tried to steal a car. He can't even drive," he said. "I think there was excessive use of force."

The report says the Taiwan International Workers Association (TIWA), which organised a protest, urged the authorities to release any footage related to the case. The report says ambulance dash-cam footage was later obtained but was not broadcast due to its distressing nature. It is not clear whether the police officer or his car were equipped with a camera, the report says.

[link url="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41298076"]BBC News report[/link]

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