Illegally Detained and Searched in the Hong Kong Airport, Officials Call it "Routine Inspection"
On the night of April 29, 2004, I went to Hong Kong via China Airlines to attend a Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference legally permitted by the Hong Kong government. I was issued an entry permit by the Hong Kong government a week prior to my trip. However, when I entered customs, I was immediately escorted by the airport police to a small room and searched. I asked them in surprise, "Will it always be like this to enter Hong Kong in the future?" They replied, "This is just a routine inspection." They immediately confiscated my cell phone so I could not contact anyone. They constantly ignored my repeated requests to make a call. So I questioned them, "Would it violate Hong Kong's law if I made a call on my cell phone?" They did not answer my question but replied, "I will keep it for you for the time being." Then they repeatedly asked for my return ticket, which I refused to give them.
Later several people took turns, one after another, to look through my luggage. Even my small bag was searched five times. When I asked why they searched my bag so many times, they answered, "We work for different departments." Instead I asked again, "Which Hong Kong law have I breached for you to treat me like this?" They answered, "Sorry, we are just conducting a routine inspection." I said, "Is it because Falun Gong practitioners are not allowed to enter Hong Kong?" They reluctantly answered, "No."
After more than two hours of repeated inspections which proved unproductive, the authorities still claimed they were detaining me for alleged "security reasons" which they used as a thin excuse to deport me back to Taiwan. Then they took me to the boarding entrance, and rudely asked me to sign a piece of paper. I noticed that my signature had been forged on the document against my will, so I told them very clearly, "You forged this document. You've violated the law because this paper clearly states the rights I have during the illegal detention, including making a phone call. However you did not let me make the phone call, and also wanted me to sign this form acknowledging that I was aware of these rights." At that time the police knew they were not being reasonable and anxiously snatched the paper from my hand with the intention to tear it up and destroy the evidence. But I was able to stop them. (See appendix)
This whole ordeal lasted for several hours. I feel distressed by the Hong Kong authorities irrational manner. I am just a young girl, but still the Hong Kong government sent nearly 20 police personnel to conduct an unreasonable and illegal search. Even after they could not find any illegal item, I was forced to return back to Taiwan at my own expense. They explained their behavior of violating human rights by fabricating an excuse of their actions being for "security reasons." They targeted me and treated me in the manner they did only because I am a Falun Gong practitioner who lives according to the principle "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance".
Who should bear the responsibility when those in power enforce orders that violate the law and force people to ignore their conscience, such as the police officers who carried out their so-called orders from higher authorities? Would it be the higher authorities or the law enforcement personnel?
"Notice to the Detained or Inspected Person" I Was Asked to Sign by Hong Kong Airport Immigration Authorities
So long as it does not create unreasonable delays or the hindrance to the investigation process or the judicial work, the person who is detained or accepts inspections at the entrance admission can:
1. Make calls to relatives and friends;
2. May privately phone the Consul, attorney or barrister, or contact them in writing or in person;
3. May ask for a list of lawyers provided by the Hong Kong Lawyers Association;
4. When meeting the entrance admission personnel, may be allowed to have the Consul, attorney or barrister present;
5. With approval, the individual may be allowed to privately contact an attorney or barrister who claims to be consigned by a third party to represent the detained person;
6. Can refuse to meet the attorney or barrister if it not requested ;
7. Can request the department to mail or deliver letters without delay;
8. After the meeting and being guarded, can request a copy of an oral confession or conversation transcription;
9. Before acquiring a copy of an oral confession or conversation transcription, you may refuse to answer more questions after being guarded; and
10. Can request the department to provide writing stationery.
I fully understand the rights allowed during the inspection or detention, and acknowledge I have received a copy of the notice
Signature Witness' signature
Translator's Signature Date/Time