Mainland social media was again abuzz on the issue of pregnant women visiting Hong Kong.
A woman from Beijing who is seven months’ pregnant said she was denied entry to Hong Kong and taken into custody for eight hours by immigration authorities even after she presented documents showing that she had no plans to give birth in the territory.
The woman and her husband had planned a four-day holiday in Hong Kong, but was refused entry at the airport last Saturday, according to a post on Sohu.com.
Upon learning that she was pregnant, immigration officers took the couple to a room for questioning.
She told the officers that she had no plans to deliver her baby in Hong Kong. She showed them their round-trip air tickets, hotel bookings, pregnancy check-up records as well as a contract with a Beijing hospital for the baby’s delivery.
However, one of the officers told her that according to a local immigration ordinance, those who are more than 28 weeks’ pregnant are not allowed to enter the territory.
She and her husband were then taken by two officers to the departure gate where they boarded a plane back to Beijing.
Upon their arrival in Beijing, they were again questioned for about half an hour by mainland immigration officers who also checked their travel papers and the woman’s hospital records.
Writing on her blog, the woman said she and her husband lost their freedom for more than eight hours, and they were treated like prisoners by the Hong Kong immigration officers. She said her husband was not even allowed to go to the washroom.
The couple is considering hiring a lawyer to obtain legal redress.
Many of the mainland netizens who read her blog offered their sympathies, and said she was a victim of discrimination. Others called on tourists to stop going to Hong Kong, while others said the immigration department’s action was based on existing regulations.
Some Hong Kong residents accuse mainland women of wanting to give birth in the territory to gain residency rights, and complain about their impact on the city’s resources for healthcare and education. Many mainlanders, on the other hand, accuse Hong Kong residents of discrimination.
[Go to Facebook]
– Contact us at [email protected]