Taiwan: Practitioners Sue Hong Kong Government; Mainland Affairs Council Will Provide Necessary Assistance

The first trial regarding fundamental human right across the Straits was held in the Hong Kong Supreme Court on March 5th. Regarding the request of four plaintiffs from Taiwan and Hong Kong for judicial examination on the Immigration Department's denying entrance to the country and forcing deportation, Justice Hartmann of the Supreme Court convened the four-day trial. This case has been through four years of procedural examination and is now in the final period of the actual trial. In the first day's court investigation, senior lawyer Paul Harris, SC, attorney for the plaintiffs, and Justice Hartmann all mentioned that Falun Gong has been persecuted in China and the evidence that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) created a "blacklist" of Falun Gong practitioners and put pressure on the governments of other countries.

According to a report on March 2nd, 2007, by Central Radio Station of Taiwan, nearly 100 Falun Gong practitioners from Taiwan went to Hong Kong to attend a Falun Gong-related event in 2003. Over 80 of them were deported by the Hong Kong government. Five practitioners from both Taiwan and Hong Kong then sued the Hong Kong Government. The case was tried on March 5th. Liu Te-hsun, the Deputy Chief Officer of Mainland Affairs Council, indicated that religious freedom and freedom of belief are fundamental to any democratic country. As matter of fact, the Hong Kong Government did not then protect the rights of the Taiwanese people. The Mainland Affairs Council will provide the Taiwanese people necessary assistance.

Liu Te-hsun stated that, with regard to this incident, the Mainland Affairs Council ordered the Liaison Office in Hong Kong to urgently request the Hong Kong government to stop its unfriendly behaviour and not to commit similar acts. Liu Te-hsun said, "We have said again and again to the Hong Kong government that we think religious freedom and the freedom of belief are fundamental to any democratic country. Hong Kong is an international city. We would like to believe that Hong Kong would treat fairly all people, related events, or social activities in Hong Kong and uphold religious freedom and freedom of belief."

Liu Te-hsun indicated that the Hong Kong government should reconsider how to respect human rights and freedom of belief. Otherwise, the image of a free and democratic Hong Kong will be severely damaged.

Liu Te-hsun said that the Hong Kong government should realise that relations between the governments of Hong Kong and Taiwan will, to some extent, be influenced by individual cases. Therefore, he wished that the Hong Kong government would protect the rights of people from Taiwan and pay more attention to their safety during their stay in Hong Kong.

Liu Te-hsun stressed that the Mainland Affairs Council would ask the Taiwan Liaison Office in Hong Kong to watch the progress of the trial and provide necessary assistance.

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