Hong Kong Rule of Law Overrun by Beijing’s Blacklist
More than 100 citizens from at least 11 countries are deported without explanation
July 1, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) – By the evening of June 29th, a total of over 100 Falun Gong practitioners from eleven countries had been denied entry into Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Immigration Department. On the same day, Hong Kong Falun Gong practitioners delivered a letter to the government of the SAR, urging the government to abolish the use of Jiang Zemin’s “blacklist,” and allow Falun Gong practitioners access to Hong Kong during Jiang’s visit.
According to witnesses, in the evening of June 29th, the Hong Kong Immigration Department rejected dozens more Falun Gong practitioners who had traveled there to join a peaceful appeal to stop the persecution of Falun Gong in the mainland. Those travelers included 16 Australian, 2 Japanese, 4 from Macao, and also others from the U.S., France, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Korea, Indonesia, and at least 70 from Taiwan.
Visitors to Hong Kong Facing Stern Treatment, Luggage Searches, Eight Guards Per Person
According to sources in Hong Kong, the officials in charge of the Hong Kong Immigration Department are treating the detained Falun Gong practitioners with unusual sternness. Travelers’ luggage is searched several times. Each person is escorted by 7 to 8 people. Five or six people are assigned to escort a single person to go to the restroom, and the door must be unlocked.
“This is how Hong Kong welcomes people who practice truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance [the core principles of Falun Gong’s teachings]? This is how an open society welcomes those who would make a peaceful appeal to save the lives of thousands in China?” commented Sophie Xiao, a Hong Kong resident and spokesperson for Falun Gong in Hong Kong. “Falun Gong’s appeals in nations around the world have been consistently peaceful, orderly, and law-abiding. What could Hong Kong fear, aside from the wrath of Jiang?”
According to the detained Falun Gong practitioners, many Hong Kong officials who had been following the order to block their entry showed sympathy and understanding toward the practitioners. Some said, “This is the order from above.” Others said, “You’ve been through a lot, we’re sorry.”
On June 30, Hong Kong Falun Gong practitioners delivered a letter to the government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region, appealing to their government not to trample on Hong Kong’s rule of law by bending to Jiang’s dictatorship. They urged the SAR to lift the ban and let Falun Gong practitioners to access the region. In the letter delivered to Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr. Donald Tsang, Hong Kong practitioners said bowing to mainland authority in this fashion damaged Hong Kong’s free and open image. It exposes what analysts are calling Hong Kong’s weakening record on human rights and rule of law.
“Many people have expressed concern about how these policies could affect Hong Kong’s tourism,” continued Ms. Xiao. “We’re more concerned over how it affects Hong Kong’s moral quality.”
Falun Gong practitioners in Hong Kong announced that they intend to practice meditation and hold a candlelight vigil during Jiang’s visit, protesting his persecution of Falun Gong in the mainland, and calling help from the governments and people all over the world to stop the growing scale of the atrocities committed by Jiang’s regime.
A Global Pattern Appears as the Long Arm of the Communist Party Bends Democracies to its Illicit Agenda
This is not the first time that the Hong Kong government intercepted Falun Gong practitioners on a large scale. In January 2001, over ten Falun Gong practitioners were turned away after landing in Hong Kong and being identified as practitioners through an unknown means. Hong Kong citizens and Falun Gong practitioners alike criticized the action, which many said showed clear signs of pressure from Beijing.
More recently, dozens Falun Gong practitioners were denied entry into Iceland during a visit there by Jiang Zemin in mid June. IcelandAir said it was ordered by the Iceland government to cancel the flights of anyone appearing on a “list,” which sources in Iceland say was given to the Iceland government by Chinese authorities. The list contained the names of both Chinese nationals and citizens of democratic countries in North America and Europe.
Similar reports of use of a “blacklist” were made in Lithuania and other European countries during Jiang’s recent visit there.
Residents of Seattle, Washington, expressed concern over the detention of David Jerke, a Seattle-area Falun Gong practitioner, who traveled to Hong Kong this weekend. Earlier in the week, Ms. Dan Bihan, a 68-year-old U,S, citizen, was subject to rough treatment by Hong Kong police who wrapped her in a canvas tarp and hoisted her onto their shoulders to carry her onto a waiting plane. Like Mr. Jerke, she had also traveled to Hong Kong to take part in the Falun Gong activities there this weekend, but was stopped at the border when she was identified by authorities. Ms. Dan had previously traveled to Hong Kong on many occasions without incident.
“Where in the world is peaceful protest allowed these days?” asks Leeshai Lemish, a practitioner of Falun Gong in the U.S. “If a recognizably peaceful group of people wishes to make a public, peaceful appeal to a dictator with the lives of hundreds on his hands, and countries around the world implement his deceitful policies at will, haven’t they become witting accomplices to the atrocities? Where will this end? How many more people must die, and how many more people must be affected before Jiang’s persecution is stopped?”