Chen Wei-ting, one of the leaders of Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement that had staged anti-Beijing protests on the island earlier this year, was denied entry to Hong Kong on Sunday and sent back to Taiwan.
Chen boarded a plane to Hong Kong on Sunday even though his online visa application was turned down last week. The student movement leader was attempting to enter the city to participate in a mass rally being organized by Hong Kong pro-democracy activists on July 1, Apple Daily reported.
When he landed at the Hong Kong airport, Chen was taken to a detention room by an immigration officer who told him that his entry cannot be allowed due to political reasons, the activist said upon his return to Taiwan.
He complained that his Taiwan compatriot permit — a permit issued by Chinese authorities allowing Taiwanese to travel to China including Hong Kong — was revoked on the spot and that his luggage was thoroughly searched, making him feel like he was treated as a terrorist.
Although he was aware that these things could happen, Chen said he still wanted to be in Hong Kong so that he can join the march and another planned “Occupy Central” demonstration. He called on the Hong Kong and Beijing governments not to prevent any exchanges among civil groups of Hong Kong and Taiwan.
While Chen was turned back, one of his companions is said to have managed to enter Hong Kong successfully. He later held a press conference near the Legislative Council, criticizing the authorities for denying entry to Chen.
The Hong Kong Immigration Department declined to comment, saying it cannot comment on an individual case like this.
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