White shirts 'targeted' at the border

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 July, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 July, 2004, 12:00am

A Hong Kong man staying on the mainland had his home-return permit number taken down by public security officers as he crossed the border for the July 1 march, his wife said yesterday.

Taking part in phone-in radio show Teacup in a Storm, a Mrs Cheng said her husband was wearing a white shirt when two officers stopped him at the Shenzhen Futian inspection point at about 1pm on Thursday.

She said other Hongkongers wearing white shirts - to symbolise hopes for democracy - were stopped and their permit numbers recorded. 'The public security officers didn't give any reason and the passengers didn't ask. In a word, they just recorded the permit numbers of anyone dressed in white.'

Mrs Cheng said the Hongkongers co-operated. 'Everybody knew what was going on, so we just laughed it off,' she said.

Another caller, a Mr Lau, said random noting of permit numbers had been happening for a long time at the Luohu and Huanggang inspection stations. 'Yesterday was a sensitive day, so they might have just chosen to pick those dressed in white,' he said.

The Shenzhen General Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection was not available for comment.