China Times: Human Rights Advisory Team: Hong Kong Government Should Apologize For Falun Gong Incident
(China Times Report on March 1, 2003 from Taipei) Regarding the incident where Falun Gong practitioners from Taiwan were forcibly expelled at the Hong Kong airport, Vice-president Lu Hsiu-lien has led two associate coordinators of the Human Rights Advisory Team of the President's Office to express their concerns. The associate coordinator Liao Fute says, "According to the protection of personal safety and freedom, the Hong Kong government should not treat the practitioners involved in this accident with violence, and therefore the Hong Kong Customs and Police should apologize publicly. In addition, the Hong Kong government should set up a team to investigate this incident and give appropriate punishments to the staff that has neglected their duties."
Mr. Liao Fute pointed out, "Such actions of the Hong Kong government have violated the stipulations of the Hong Kong Human Rights Bill. They not only violated Falun Gong practitioners' personal freedoms, but also used violence against them. Moreover, the Human Rights Bill also supports freedom of belief. Therefore, the Hong Kong government has clearly violated Hong Kong law in this incident."
In addition, Liao Fute also emphasized that these practitioners not only all held legal visas, but some other people who have nothing to do with Falun Gong activities were also expelled by the Hong Kong government. During this process, improper violent actions were used and hence the Hong Kong government should apologize for this. They should also establish a special committee to investigate whether the behaviors of customs and police on that day were proper or not.
Lawyer Zhu Wanqi, a Falun Gong practitioner, pointed out, "Starting from last June China started to prohibit practitioners from entering China, now even Falun Gong practitioners with legal visas are being banned from entering Hong Kong by the Hong Kong government." Ms. Zhu Wanqi said that practitioners entering Hong Kong didn't carry any dangerous articles, nor did they have any record of harming Hong Kong's social order. But they were violently and forcibly expelled from Hong Kong, showing that the persecution of Falun Gong in Mainland China also exists in Hong Kong.
Zhu Wanqi stresses that because the Hong Kong government gave in to Beijing's stance, violated the Basic Law and harmed practitioners' human rights, practitioners that were expelled that day should seek legal channels to ask for compensation from the Hong Kong government and look into the responsibility of the Hong Kong government in expelling practitioners from legal entry.