Regina Ip denies force was used

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 12:00am

Immigration officers did not use force to remove an abode seeker on Monday and they did not snatch his mobile phone, Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee insisted yesterday. Mrs Ip was referring to the removal of Wu Jiatun, 33, which had been reported as the first forcible expulsion since the grace period ended on March 31.

Mr Wu's sister complained immigration officers dragged him to a car and took his phone.

Mrs Ip rejected the allegations and said Mr Wu had been told he would be removed that day. 'He did not totally agree to it [the removal], but there was no need for either side to use force.'

But last night Mr Wu's sister reiterated: 'We told the truth.'

Mrs Ip said the Government was determined to remove all illegal abode seekers but said a timetable had not been set.

Support group figures demonstrated yesterday for the abode seekers to stay. They also tied yellow ribbons, carrying 850 signatures, to the Central Government Offices gates.