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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Hong Kong deports 3 pro-Tibet activists ahead of torch relay

April 30, 2008

The Associated Press
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

HONG KONG: Three pro-Tibet activists who planned to protest at Hong
Kong's leg of the Olympic torch relay were deported after they arrived
at the territory's airport Tuesday, activists said.

It was the second known instance in which activists have been denied
entry ahead of the Olympic torch's arrival in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
The flame's return to Chinese soil follows a global tour marred by
protests against Beijing's human rights record and its recent crackdown
in Tibet.

Hong Kong, a former British colony now ruled by China, is supposed to
enjoy Western-style civil liberties such as freedom of expression that
are denied in the mainland.

Students for a Free Tibet organizers Kate Woznow and Tsering Lama and
Free Tibet Campaign organizer Matt Whitticase were turned away after
arriving in Hong Kong on Tuesday, activists said.

Woznow, a Canadian, told The Associated Press she was put on a return
flight to New York. Whitticase, a British citizen, was booked on a
return flight to London, Free Tibet Campaign spokeswoman Claire Cooper said.

Tsering Lama, an ethnic Tibetan Canadian citizen, was also deported, but
it wasn't immediately clear where to, Students for a Free Tibet
spokeswoman Lhadon Tethong said. She traveled to Hong Kong from Toronto,
Canada.

The grounds for the deportations wasn't immediately clear. Hong Kong
officials have said repeatedly they won't discuss individual cases.

In a phone call from the plane before takeoff, Woznow said immigration
officials questioned her about her trip but gave no reason for turning
her away.

Woznow accused the Hong Kong government of caving in to pressure from
Beijing.

"I really thought that Hong Kong authorities were different from
Beijing," she said.

On Saturday, three Danish human rights activists were detained and deported.

Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot and his two sons were questioned for six
hours and then put on a flight to Denmark, a cameraman traveling with
them said.

Galschiot sculpted the "The Pillar of Shame," which depicts 50 twisted
human bodies to mourn victims of the military crackdown on pro-democracy
protests centered around Beijing's Tiananmen Square in June 1989.

Hong Kong Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee met with Danish Consul
General Jorgen Mollegaard and European Union and French diplomats
Tuesday to discuss Galschiot's case, a government spokesman said.

The spokesman, who declined to be named in line with government
practice, said Lee gave no details but told the diplomats the
Immigration Department "has the responsibility to uphold effective
immigration controls so as to safeguard Hong Kong's public interest."

Mollegaard did not immediately return a reporter's call seeking comment.

The Hong Kong leg of the torch relay on Friday is a high-stakes event
for the local government because it marks the flame's homecoming to
Chinese soil after a world tour tarnished by protests. Demonstrators
have tried to snatch the torch and have thrown eggs and tomatoes at it.

Hong Kong is likely to see demonstrations because it grants visa-free
entry to many Westerners.

Authorities plan to deploy 3,000 officers to guard the torch.

American actress Mia Farrow was due to arrive here Thursday to raise
awareness about fighting in Sudan's Darfur region. Activists want
Beijing to pressure Sudan to let United Nations peacekeepers into Darfur.

Mark Allison, a spokesman for Amnesty International's Hong Kong branch,
urged the government not to abuse its authority and to explain the
grounds for the deportations.

Associated Press writer Dikky Sinn contributed to this report.
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