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Taiwan Slams Hong Kong Human Rights Backward on Falun Gong Travel Ban

Posted by Author on June 28, 2007

Radio Taiwan International, Taiwan, 06/27/2007-

The government says the state of human rights and democracy in Hong Kong has declined since its return to China in 1997. The statement comes after more than forty Falun Gong practitioners from Taiwan have been barred from entering Hong Kong in recent days.

Twelve travelers from Taiwan were turned back from Hong Kong on Monday despite holding valid visas. Others claim immigration officials, airlines and ticketing agents have halted their trips, apparently because their names appeared on a blacklist.

Some of those not allowed to travel had intended to protest this weekend. July 1st marks the tenth anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China after 150 years of British rule.

Cabinet spokesman Shieh Jhy-wey criticized the crackdown on Wednesday.

Shieh said, “This (event) surely proves that human rights and democracy have declined in Hong Kong since its return to China ten years ago. It should also serve as a warning to the people of Taiwan. For all the talk of ‘one country, two systems,’ in reality it is Beijing controlling the pace of democracy and human rights and essentially holding them back.”

The religious movement Falun Gong is banned in China, where it is regarded as a cult. The movement remains legal in Hong Kong however.

original report from Radio Taiwan International

Related:
–  Taiwan Human Rights Lawyer Denied Entry in Hong Kong, AFP, Jun. 24, 2007

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