In the lead-up to the tenth anniversary of the British handover of Hong Kong to China, three Australian citizens are among hundreds of Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners who are being deported by Hong Kong authorities.
Australian citizens Ms Stacey Miao Chen Lin Lan, Mr Fan Chiang Fu Long, and Ms Huang Yueh Hsiu Lan Miao, now living in Taiwan, are believed to have been travelling to Hong Kong to peacefully protest against Communist China's persecution of Falun Gong, coinciding with Communist leader Hu Jintao's visit and mass pro-democracy protests on Sunday July 1.
It is thought that the Australian passport holders were also there to show support for the recent moves by two Hong Kong Falun Gong practitioners who filed a lawsuit that was accepted by the Hong Kong Supreme Court against former leader of the Chinese Communist Party Jiang Zemin and a number of other Communist officials who instigated the brutal persecution of the peaceful meditation practice on the mainland.
From the detention room, one of the Australian citizens, Mr Fan Chiong, managed to do a mobile telephone interview with Sound of Hope (SOH) radio. “We are now detained at the detention room,” he said. “It is not easy to make phone calls or receive phone calls.
“We came there on Friday, the 29th of June. We were taken here from customs.”
Mr Fan said that the Hong Kong police did not inform them why they were being detained or when they were to be released. “Initially, we told the Hong Kong police that we are Australian citizens, but they refused to listen whatsoever.”
Later, he said, at 3 am they were allowed to phone the Australian consulate, which was unsuccessful.
Ms Liao Shu Hui, a journalist for the SOH, was also detained in the Hong Kong airport and refused entry. She said her equipment was taken by force, but she was able to contact her radio station saying that there were over 10 practitioners detained with her and 2 of them appeared to be sick and vomiting due to terrible conditions in the small sealed room they were in.
A reporter from the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times said that on the Friday, 500 hundred Falun Gong practitioners, carrying valid visas and passports, had arrived in Hong Kong airport from Taiwan, but on the same day 460 had been deported by 6pm. It is thought, she said, that hundreds more have further been deported since that time also.
As of the writing of this report, Mr Fan and Ms Huang had been deported and Ms Lan's whereabouts were not able to be confirmed.
These mass deportations follow the Sunday June 24 deportation of a Taiwanese-American human rights attorney, also a Falun Gong practitioner, who was forcefully deported earlier this week. Via a statement she said: “I've been on the Chinese Communist regime's blacklist and I did not suspect that such a terrible thing would take place in Hong Kong. They violently deported me, wrapped me up in an anti-riot blanket, put me in a wheelchair and pushed me all the way to the boarding gate.”
Following her deportation, she obtained a confidential document from an airline company stating that Falun Gong practitioners were “unwelcome visitors” to Hong Kong prior to Sunday July 1. The document also said that Hong Kong Immigration was to provide a “blacklist” of Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners who would either be refused entry to Hong Kong or should be refused by the airline company to board the plane.
Falun Gong combines meditation with tai-chi like exercises and includes moral teachings. In 1999, the Chinese Communist regime in instigated a brutal persecution against millions of Mainland Chinese practitioners. Under the “one country, two systems” policy, Falun Gong can be freely practiced in Hong Kong.
In Taiwan, it is estimated that there are over 450,000 people who practise Falun Gong.