Citizens of Vietnam have expressed their rage online over the sentence imposed on a man convicted of forcibly kissing a woman in Hanoi.

Social media was besieged by angry commentators after the man was fined 200,000 Dong (US$8) for kissing a woman against her will in an apartment building in Hanoi, VN Express reported.

The incident was caught on CCTV footage, which showed the man first talking to the woman then cornering her and forcing himself on her before she escaped from the elevator.

One online commentator, Duong Dai Trieu Lam, said on Facebook that the fine made a mockery of women in Vietnam.

In Vietnam, sexual assault that is not rape is not considered a criminal offence. Instead, it is treated as an administrative violation that falls under “indecent speech and behavior.” The maximum fine for such an offence is reported to be the equivalent of US$13.

Citizens have been signing an online petition calling for officials to amend the law.

According to a survey conducted by ActionAid in 2014, 87% of the 2,000 women interviewed experienced sexual harassment in Vietnam.