Prostitutes Blamed for Asylum Request

Associated Press

Fifteen disgruntled Amsterdam residents applied for political asylum at the Danish Consulate here Monday, claiming that the city's streetwalkers are threatening their life styles.

The group's request was prompted by the city government's decision last week to tolerate streetwalkers on the De Ruyterkade, a canal-side thoroughfare in central Amsterdam where the 15 live and where the Danish Consulate is located.

In the past, city regulations have tried to limit prostitution by delineating red light districts where prostitutes advertise their trade by sitting in the windows of houses.

A city hall spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he believes the applications for asylum are a "humorous protest to call attention to what they see as a serious problem."

"We didn't treat the protest as a joke," Danish Vice Consul Hanne Boonstra said, adding that the applications will be sent to Copenhagen later this week.

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