Communist Regime Orders Hong Kong to Enforce Massive Travel Ban Against Falun Gong
Hundreds of Falun Gong denied entry, some wrapped in tarps and carried onto planes
NEW YORK – More than 800 Falun Gong practitioners have been denied entry to Hong Kong in recent days, having traveled there for demonstrations over the ten-year anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China. Witnesses say police officers have disregarded standard deportation procedures and used excessive force, including forcefully wrapping detainees in tarps and physically carrying them onto airplanes departing Hong Kong. An email leaked by a Taiwanese travel agency details instructions from the Hong Kong Immigration Department to bar Falun Gong practitioners from boarding Hong Kong-bound planes in Taiwan.
Informed sources in Hong Kong and Taiwan confirm that Zeng Qinghong, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China and known by some colleagues as the “Black-Masked Assassin,” ordered the barring of Falun Gong practitioners from traveling to Hong Kong. Zeng is one of the key figures behind the persecution of Falun Gong in China. (Circumstances also suggest his involvement in the shooting of a Falun Gong practitioner in 2004, who had traveled to South Africa for a protest. For more: “Who Shot David Liang?” and “The Motive Clear, the Means Chilling”.)
A Hong Kong police officer told at least one detainee that over 10 departments of the Hong Kong SAR government were mobilized for the effort. According to witnesses, police officers complained of fatigue from having to work long hours over several days to enforce the edict to bar Falun Gong practitioners from Hong Kong.
In total 547 practitioners with valid visas were refused entry, over half of which were removed, some violently, from Hong Kong upon arrival. Another 271 were rejected upon applying for visas. The Falun Gong are known for their commitment to peaceful protests and, after years of protesting the persecution of their group in China, have never been known to engage in an act of violence.
Falun Gong adherents have filed a judicial review with the High Court of Hong Kong SAR that asks the court to declare the actions of the Immigration Department illegal. A court date is pending.
The reception in Hong Kong is in stark contrast to the status of Falun Gong in Taiwan, which is where most of the protesters were from. Falun Gong is widely respected in Taiwan and has received praise from the highest levels of government. Over 500,000 people in Taiwan practice Falun Gong, and volunteers are regularly invited to schools and prisons to teach the practice.
The Falun Dafa Information Center calls on the international community to come to Hong Kong’s aid as it faces unjust and illicit pressure from Zeng Qinghong and other Communist rulers in Beijing. The nations, in particular, that vowed to keep watch over Hong Kong’s freedom after the 1997 handover to China must not abandon Hong Kong in its time of need. The Information Center also encourages Hong Kong to take the right stance and to condemn China’s regime for its blatant disregard of the “One Country, Two Systems” policy. These encroachments on basic freedoms in Hong Kong cannot stand.