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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Free Tibet Campaign rep detained, deported from Hong Kong

May 2, 2008

Free Tibet Campaign
April 30 2008

Free Tibet Campaign spokesperson, Matt Whitticase, landed this morning
in London after being denied entry into Hong Kong on 29 April. The
Immigration Department of the Hong Kong Government boarded him onto a
flight leaving Hong Kong at 11.30pm local time on 29 April after serving
him with a refusal notice. Kate Woznow and Tsering Lama of Students For
a Free Tibet were also refused entry into Hong Kong on 29 April and were
put on return flights to New York and Chicago respectively.

Whitticase said that he was escorted from the immigration desk at Hong
Kong airport to a secure room where he was questioned after arriving on
a flight from London at 4.15pm local time. On entering the security room
he was forced to surrender the battery to his mobile phone. His passport
had been confiscated at the arrivals desk.

Despite being refused entry and having his passport and mobile phone
confiscated, Whitticase was offered no reason for his detention.
Whitticase told officials from Jardine Airport Services wearing
immigration services clothing that he was visiting Hong Kong to visit
his father and to meet journalists.

At around 8pm local time Whitticase was served with a Refusal Notice
issued by the Immigration Department of the Government of the Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region. The notice stated that he had been
"refused permission to land in the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region under section 11 of the Immigration Ordinance” and detained under
section 32(1) of the same Ordinance." The notice further stated that
Jardine Airport Services Ltd. "is hereby directed under section 24 of
the Immigration Ordinance to “remove that person/make arrangements for
the removal of that person from the Hong Kong Special Administrative

On Sunday 27 April, The South China Morning Post reported that three
Danish citizens, planning to protest during the Hong Kong leg of the
Olympic Torch Relay, had been denied entry and had been put on return
flights. Ambrose Lee, Secretary for Security in Hong Kong, was reported
by the same newspaper to have said that "Tibet separatists" would not be
allowed in to Hong Kong.

On arriving back in the UK, Whitticase said: "The Hong Kong Government
must give a reason for my being denied entry and for my rights to free
expression and free movement being suppressed. If I was denied entry for
allegedly being a ‘Tibet separatist’ then the Hong Kong Government must
define what it means by that term and on what basis it categorises me as
a ‘Tibet separatist’. The Hong Kong Government must also state
immediately on what legal basis it can deny me entry on the premise of
what I might say or do whilst in Hong Kong. And finally, it must say
whether the decision to deny me entry was one it took itself, or whether
it was lent on by Beijing."

Whitticase, who is a former long-term resident of Hong Kong, is writing
to Hong Kong Security Secretary, Ambrose Lee, to seek an official reason
for being denied entry. He has spoken to the British Consulate General
in Hong which confirmed today that it had arranged a meeting with
Ambrose Lee to discuss the reasons for Whitticase's detention.
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