Central News Agency: Protesting Hong Kong Government's Violent Deportation, Falun Gong Practitioners Condemn Human Rights Violation
(Clearwisdom.net) Central News Agency reported on June 28, 2007 that 23 Falun Gong practitioners from Kaohsiung flew to Hong Kong on the evening of June 27, but the Hong Kong authorities stopped them upon their arrival and they were detained over ten hours, until the morning of June 28 when they were forcibly deported. Some practitioners sustained injuries due to the Hong Kong police's violence. The practitioners arrived at Kaohsiung International Airport at noon and condemned the Hong Kong government's inhumane treatment.
Twenty-three practitioners said in an interview at the Kaohsiung Airport that the fact that the Hong Kong government bowed to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) blacklist and refused their entry indicates a great regress in freedom, democracy and law. Some female practitioners rolled up their sleeves to show the bruises and abrasions sustained when the Hong Kong police violently wrapped them up in anti-riot blankets or tied them up and confined them on cots.
The twenty-three deported Falun Gong practitioners' relatives and friends who came to meet them at the airport held white banners and display boards to strongly protest and condemn the Hong Kong authorities cooperating with the CCP's blacklist and illegally and violently deporting Taiwanese passengers who held valid entry visas to Hong Kong.
The protesters said that they are all innocent, law-abiding Taiwanese people, but they were treated illegally and inhumanely in Hong Kong. They said that this is a great regress in freedom, democracy and law. It is not only a serious blow to Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, it also seriously harms law-abiding Taiwanese people's right to legally enter Hong Kong.
Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Liao Shuhui said that she and twenty other Falun Gong practitioners flew from Taipei to Hong Kong on the evening of June 27, and arrived in Hong Kong at 7:30 p.m. on June 27. Only two practitioners were able to enter Hong Kong, and all the rest were denied entry.
Liao Shuhui continued, saying that twenty-three of them did not cooperate with the immigration officers to enter a detention room when the officers refused to explain the reason for the denial of their entry. The practitioners staged a sit-in to protest.
She said that Hong Kong authorities tried several times to bring them to another room, but the practitioners refused to leave. She said that staff members surrounded the practitioners until about 1:00 a.m. on June 28. The Falun Gong practitioners were still negotiating with the Hong Kong authorities. The surrounded practitioners included men and women, young and old, including a twelve-year-old boy.
Ms. Liao pointed out that when she made the phone call to the reporter, some staffers also came to interfere. As for the reason for the entry denial, the Hong Kong authorities have not explained. The practitioners repeatedly asked the officers if there was any blacklist, but the officers kept silent, only emphasizing "implementation of orders."
Ms. Liao also pointed out that when going through the check-point, they gave their passports to the immigration officers to check. She noted that the officers filled in another form and then detained them. She suspected that they had gathered information about them long before.
Ms. Liao had never had any problem entering Hong Kong multiple times before. She said it was the first time that she was denied entry. Though she knew that some Falun Gong practitioners were denied entry in recent days, this was unexpected and she wondered how the Hong Kong authorities could do such things.
Ms. Liao said that she felt that this incident is a disgrace for the Hong Kong government. Even though Hong Kong's economy is developing, the human rights situation is a laughing stock. They have done such disappointing things to law-abiding, innocent people, and in particular, the Falun Gong issue should gain more people's attention. Falun Gong is a legal organization in Hong Kong. The police were unreasonable to treat them this way. When she kept asking if she was denied entry because she is a Falun Gong practitioner, the Hong Kong officers were silent.
Zhang Xianghua pointed out that at the beginning, Hong Kong customs and the police tried to deceive them into entering the detention room. When failed to do so, they used violence, wrapping the practitioners in anti-riot blankets. The police beat some practitioners with police batons. Ms. Zhang's wrists were injured by the police. After twenty-three of the practitioners were forced into a detention room, they were offered no food and drink, and they could only use the toilet. During that time, two to three practitioners representing the group were investigated by the authorities about the purpose of their trip. Other practitioners refused to be interrogated. At 10:00 a.m. on June 28, they were tied up and carried to the plane one by one and forcibly deported to Kaohsiung.
Zhang Xianghua continued, saying that they were body-searched, and their luggage was also found to have been opened and searched. They did not bring any contraband nor did they break the law, but they were treated inhumanely. They may seek justice and sue the Hong Kong government for damages and obstruction of freedom and breaking international conventions and human rights.