Friday, August 24, 2007

Related to me by Liaw, Shu-huey

I am a Taiwan correspondent with Sound of Hope International Radio. I went to Hong Kong twice to cover the tenth anniversary of its hand-over, but I was denied entry and deported both times. The first time I arrived at the Hong Kong airport from Taiwan at about 7:30pm June 27. I was taken away at the customs once I showed my passport. As there were other Falun Gong practitioners from Taiwan on the same plane, I took some pictures of them when they were blocked entry at the Hong Kong customs and told people I was a reporter. However I was also taken away.

At first, we were confined to a public area between the customs and the luggage claim area for about 5 hours. I did quite a few interviews, phoned in a report for the radio, and took some pictures. We were encircled by police and were denied the use of toilet till 02.00 when lots of police arrived. They tried to take away other Falun Gong practitioners by force, and blocked me from taking pictures. I made a sound recording and got on the phone to send in an urgent report. But 5 or 6 police officers lifted me off my feet and carried me away to a detention room, trying to confiscate my cell phone and recorder.
For the next four hours we were held in an unheated room, with no chairs to sit on, and were allowed only limited and monitored use of the bathroom. Two immigration officers at one point questioned four of us.
About 06.00, security and customs staff came and searched us and our carry-on bags. About 08.00, some 100 police and officials arrived forcefully separated the Falun Gong practitioners from the rest of the detainees. They treated us roughly, and took my cellphone and camera. I was pressed onto the floor and wrapped in an anti-riot blanket then tied onto a stretcher. The more I struggled, the tighter I was tied up. Two policewomen grasped my arms so tightly that my arms were bruised. Then I was thrown on the plane back to Taiwan.
I took another plane to Hong Kong on June 29, arriving at 22.30, and was detained again, this time for about 18 hours before I was deported. An airline official told me they had an “un-welcome guest list” of passengers who were not to be admitted to Hong Kong. Any of the named persons were to be denied entry, to have their visas cancelled, and to be deported immediately to Taipei.

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