(Minghui.org) About 70 Falun Gong practitioners were deported from Hong Kong on April 26 and 27 on their way to take part in the “March in Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the April 25 Appeal.” All of the travelers had legal travel documents to enter Hong Kong. Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) issued a statement calling out the Hong Kong government's violation of human rights.
April 25, 1999 is a significant date for China and Falun Gong practitioners. On that day, approximately 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners traveled to Beijing to appeal to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) leadership after practitioners in Tianjin were illegally arrested for standing up for their belief. The Tianjin practitioners were released following the peaceful appeal, but three months later on July 20, 1999, the then Chinese leader Jiang Zemin launched a nationwide persecution campaign against Falun Gong that continues to this day.
The practitioners from Taiwan had legal travel documents to enter Hong Kong and planned to join the “March in Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the April 25 Appeal” in Hong Kong on April 27.
Chiu Chui-cheng, Deputy Minister and spokesperson of the MAC, issued a statement calling out the Hong Kong government for treating Taiwan citizens rudely. The MAC also sent an emergency rescue team to the airport in Taipei to provide assistance as needed.
“We regard freedom of speech and freedom of religion as basic human rights. We hope that the Hong Kong government can react rationally to and respect legal and peaceful expressions from citizens of Taiwan,” stated Mr. Chiu.
The question is how the Hong Kong government obtained information about Taiwan citizens' travel plans and selectively blocked the entrance of all Falun Gong practitioners on the flight. Mr. Chiu expressed his concern and said the next step would be to investigate the invasion of Taiwan citizens' privacy.
Zhang Jinhua, chairman of the Falun Dafa Association of Taiwan, said, “Hong Kong government's infringement on the freedom of expression, speech, and travel was inappropriate and disrespectful.”
She added that this was an indication that the Hong Kong government is largely controlled by the CCP. She felt that it is very unfortunate for Hong Kong. “The violations to Falun Gong practitioners' freedom is the violation to any citizen's freedom. We need to pay attention to this. We call on the Hong Kong government to stop being a minion of the CCP. This behavior is harmful to Hong Kong's citizens and society.”
“The demeanor of the customs official in Hong Kong was strained when he saw my name. He asked me to fill out a form and took me into a small room. He told me that even though I had a valid visa, the policy was not to allow me to enter Hong Kong. He said that he would block my entry,” said Ms. Ding, one of the Taiwan Falun Gong practitioners deported from Hong Kong.
“The Hong Kong government blocked our entry, although our planned activities were completely legal,” said Mr. Zeng, another Taiwan Falun Gong practitioner who was deported from Hong Kong. “The 'one nation two systems' policy doesn't seem to exist. Hong Kong is quite different now.”