Hong Kong: Judge Orders Hong Kong Government to Explain Blacklist of Falun Gong Practitioners (Photo)
(Clearwisdom.net, November 6, 2005) On November 4, Judge Michael Hartmann of the Court of First Instance ruled in a written document that, based on the public's interest, the Hong Kong Immigration Department must explain why the four Falun Gong practitioners were put on a blacklist and denied entry to Hong Kong, and when and which government official put them on the blacklist. The hearing is still ongoing.
On October 20, the Hong Kong High Court opened its first session in the case in which Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners were denied entry to Hong Kong and were violently deported. Four Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners and Hong Kong Falun Gong spokesperson Kan Hung-cheung held an appeal before the court opened.
In February, 2003, four Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners were barred from entering Hong Kong when they arrived to attend a Falun Dafa conference. They were illegally deported. The four practitioners and Hong Kong Falun Dafa Association spokesperson Kan Hung-cheung filed a judicial review of the incident with the high court. They requested the Immigration Department to explain why they were included on a "watch list".
One of the plaintiffs, Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Theresa Chu Woan-chyi, who is also an in-house lawyer with a US insurance company, was among the nearly 80 Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners who were violently deported in February 2003 by the Hong Kong Immigration Department for "security concerns". The Hong Kong Immigration Department said that she was also included on an "Immigration Watch List".
Ms. Chu said that the four Taiwanese practitioners were all well-educated. Chu is an attorney, two practitioners are government officials, and the other one is an engineer. None of them has any criminal record. The Hong Kong government's so-called "security concerns" can hardly be justified. In addition, all of them entered Hong Kong in 2001. Take Ms. Chu as an example. She had entered Hong Kong in 2001 but was denied entry in June 2002. In January 2003, she was allowed to enter Hong Kong, but was barred from entering the city again in February 2003.
Paul Harris, legal counsel who represents the Falun Gong practitioners, thinks that the Hong Kong government must have other reasons besides the "security concerns" for barring Falun Gong practitioners from entering the territory. He believes that the authorities created a blacklist ("watch list") targeting Falun Gong practitioners. He requested that the government release the watch list to the public and explain the rationale for compiling it. Government counsel Daniel Fung Wah-kin SC opposed the request. He said that should the judge order the release of security information, he would consider an application for "public interest immunity" to refuse the release.
Nonetheless, Judge Michael Hartmann of the Court of First Instance ruled in the November 4, 2005 written document, that based on "public interest", the Hong Kong Immigration Department must explain why the four Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners were included on the watch list and denied entry to Hong Kong, and when and which government official put them on this list.