Hong Kong Journalist Denied Entry To Macau For Not Writing “Chinese” As His Nationality On Arrival Form


Hong Kong protesters demand free entry to Macau in front of the government headquarters (image by sdee via Wikimedia Commons)

On September 15 a Hong Kong journalist was denied entry to neighbouring Macau for constituting a “threat to internal security and stability” in accordance with the Internal Security Law.

According to Chinese media reports, on September 15 a Hong Kong journalist from Truth Media Hong Kong (TMHK) travelled to Macau to report on the legislative elections that were to take place two days later.

When he arrived at the immigration desk, he was asked by Public Security Police officers to follow them into a room to fill in a form. The form included questions about the names of his parents, his marital status, profession and address.

After he had filled in the form, an officer told him that the nationality he had declared was “not correct.” The journalist had written “Hong Kong” instead of “Hong Kong, China”. The officer pointed out that “Hong Kong is a region, not a country.” The journalist was then informed that he could not enter Macau and was asked to sign a “notice of denial of entry” on grounds that the journalist constituted a “threat to internal security and stability”.

When he asked whether he was permanently banned from entering Macau, the journalist was told that he should call the police after a few days to ask for further information.

Asked by reporters about the incident, Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui said that he had not been briefed on the details of the case, but reiterated that Macau’s public security forces “operate according to the law.”

Chinese media claimed that “the majority of netizens” from Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China “commended Macau’s dignified actions to protect national security” and “praised the Macau police.”

Hong Kong and Macau, both former Western colonies, are Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China. The Basic Laws of the SARs guarantee more freedoms than enjoyed by residents of mainland China, but human rights have been increasingly challenged by Beijing’s attempts to implement national security legislation and introduce ‘patriotic education‘ in the Regions.

In a statement TMHK condemned the Macau authorities for repeatedly denying entry to reporters and urged them to stop restricting the freedom of journalists to travel to Macau.

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