South China Morning Post: [Group] claims SAR using blacklist Dozens of Falun Gong practitioners denied entry in run-up to handover anniversary ceremonies

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Growing numbers of Falun Gong practitioners are being refused entry to Hong Kong as it prepares to mark the fifth anniversary of the handover.

A spokesman for the group, Kan Hung-cheung, said more than 30 followers were refused entry to Hong Kong in the past week, 20 of them on Friday night.

"We believe there's a blacklist in the hands of Hong Kong authorities and that was provided to them by the mainland to follow the policy of crackdown on Falun Gong," he said. The group is legal in Hong Kong, but banned on the mainland.

According to the Falun Gong, those refused entry to Hong Kong on Friday included a mother and her one-month-old baby.

Up to 1,600 people are expected to protest during a visit tomorrow by President Jiang Zemin for handover anniversary celebrations, including 250 Falun Gong followers who plan to demonstrate outside Immigration Tower in Wan Chai.

Iceland recently banned people on a list of supposed Falun Gong members from entering the country during a visit by Mr Jiang.

"Why is Jiang Zemin so afraid of Falun Gong? They are only doing some peaceful activity," Mr Kan said.

The Secretary for Security, Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, denied the Government had a blacklist targeting Falun Gong members.

"But as there will be important ceremonies on the next few days it is naturally necessary for the Hong Kong SAR . . . to take special measures to ensure only those people who will not cause . . . trouble or disorder in Hong Kong are allowed entry," she said.

Mr Kan said members of Falun Gong refused entry were mainly Taiwanese, but included people from Macau and American, Australian and Japanese citizens.

In May last year, almost 100 Falun Gong followers were refused entry to Hong Kong during the Fortune Global Forum. The director of the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, Law Yuk-kai, branded the latest apparent ban on Falun Gong disgraceful.

Mr Law said that for Hong Kong to voluntarily adopt mainland standards on immigration was to surrender the society's freedom - and if the move was dictated by the mainland, claims of autonomy were bogus.

"Both are disgraceful . . . The Basic Law has granted us autonomy yet we give it up," he said.

The latest incident follows two recent controversial actions by Hong Kong authorities.

On Wednesday, US academic Perry Link, who co-edited the controversial Tiananmen Papers, was detained for 40 minutes before being allowed to enter Hong Kong.

Four days earlier, US-based dissident Harry Wu Hongda was denied entry to Hong Kong.

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