Macau bars HK reporters, activists as Hu arrives for anniversary

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 December, 2009, 12:00am

The Macau government denied entry to two Hong Kong journalists and more than a dozen activists during President Hu Jintao's visit to the former Portuguese colony.

Carita Ho So-man, a political reporter for the Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao, was denied entry yesterday at Macau's ferry terminal when she arrived to report on celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the city's handover.

Macau immigration officers cited its internal security law as the reason. Ho said she had no idea why she was denied entry. 'It was totally unreasonable that the officers did not even bother to verify my accreditation and forced me to return to Hong Kong.'

Ming Pao, the Hong Kong Journalists Association and the Hong Kong News Executives' Association condemned the decision to refuse her entry.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who went to Macau for the handover celebrations, and to meet the president, said: 'Our Immigration Department has contacted Macau's Immigration Department and expressed our concern. Macau immigration officers said they did it in accordance with the laws.'

A spokesman for Macau's Security Police, which oversees the Immigration Department, said Ho posed a threat to public security.

A reporter from Next Magazine, Ada Lee, who went on vacation to Macau with her family, was also barred from entering the city for a similar reason.

'I have never done a single story in my 10-year career that is politically sensitive,' said Lee, who reports on local news.

Lawmaker 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung and 14 fellow activists, who intended to petition Hu on universal suffrage, were also turned back by Macau authorities yesterday.