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  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 8:27am
Tiananmen Square crackdown
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POLITICS

Tiananmen Square activist refused entry to Hong Kong to attend June 4 museum opening

One activist was denied entry a fourth time as he tried to visit the June 4 museum

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 April, 2014, 5:46pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 April, 2014, 5:33pm
 

Hong Kong's Immigration Department has been accused of operating a blacklist of mainland dissidents after a US-based activist was barred from entering the city for the fourth time.

Dr Yang Jianli had planned to attend the opening of the world's first permanent museum dedicated to the June 4, 1989 crackdown on student protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

But after arriving at Chek Lap Kok airport from Taiwan on Saturday night, Yang said he went through three hours of interrogation by immigration officials before being placed on a flight back.

Watch: World's first June 4 museum to open in Hong Kong

"It proves that there is a blacklist in Hong Kong which tries to block" dissidents, Yang said of his case. "The list is not decided by Hong Kong's government but Beijing, which attempts to intervene in the city's internal affairs."

The Immigration Department said it would not comment on individual cases.

Yang was studying for a doctorate in the United States when the 1989 democracy protests began, but flew home to join the movement. He returned to the United States after the bloody crackdown to complete his education and campaign for democracy in his homeland.

Beijing refused to renew Yang's passport two years later, and jailed him for five years when he entered China illegally in 2002.

He was refused entry to Hong Kong in August 2008 and ahead of the June 4 commemoration in 2009, then again in 2011, when he wanted to join a conference on the 1911 revolution.

Yang said the June 4 museum, which had a trial opening yesterday, was important both to Hong Kong and the human rights movement on the mainland, as it was the only place on Chinese soil dedicated to illustrating the truth about the crackdown.

Lee Cheuk-yan, of museum organiser the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, condemned the refusal to allow Yang in.

Yang "was part of the generation of the 1989 democracy movement and he witnessed the June 4 massacre", Lee said. The veteran activist "wants to … come and see the museum".

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This article is now closed to comments

hodfords
With Reference to John Adams' comment.
"Put past mistakes behind us and MOVE ON - PLEASE !"
It is in the interest of everyone to do so as you have aptly put it; however, the people who made the mistake have still to recognise that it was a mistake. They still do not recognise that the event even took place. How can one learn from a mistake if one does not even think it was a mistake?
When China condemns the Japanese for re-writing their history books and whitewashing the atrocities of the Second World War as the "Western Expansion"; it is being a hypocrite by doing exactly the same thing with the Tiananmen Massacre.
partridge
Time to get over this, Beijing. Grownup nations take responsibility for their actions and move on -- just like people.
hard times !
if the exhibition hall's set up is illegal, it won't be allowed to open to the public. If not, I wonder why mr. Yeung Kin-li was denied entry for the fourth time. This time, he just wanted to visit the June 4th crackdown museum only.What is wrong with that ? According to 'One Country, two systems', only diplomacy and defence are in the realm of governance by Beijing, yet our Immigration Department has denied the entry of a June 4th activiist for as many as four times ! Does Hong Kong still practise highly autonomy ? I wonder.
How About
Touche Whymak!
.
It's poignant to question how many students did die elsewhere in Beijing and whether the witnesses' accounts of these crackdown were factually accurate, and not produced to stoke and fuel further unrest. Many of the dissidents who left China became mouth pieces of the West specifically for criticism of the CCP and its crackdown of the student uprising.
.
It's also worthwhile to question even if it's only rhetorically, what would have become of China had the student uprising succeeded would China have become another banana republic and continued to be pillaged by the Western industrialists and capitalists? Were the students ready, and would they have right tools to help the 1 Billion Chinese in 1989?
.
China is shaping its destiny on its own, one needs to contrast this with what Russia had become in the 30 years since Glasnost & Perestroika. Above all the all important central question, is China helping or killing its 1.3 Billion people? Then everything else would be secondary!
.
whymak
Hundreds were killed in Beijing on June 4, 1989, including a few PLA soldiers, with one burned to a crisp. Adjusted for population size, US National Guards and police in race riots 2 decades earlier killed just as many.
Absolutely, positively not a single student was killed in Tiananmen Square. Every student left the Square before the tanks moved in. Both Canadian and US Embassies have always known this for a fact. The students died in Chang An Da Jie were curious spectators, collateral casualties caught behind the barricades set up by rioters.
No one should deny this is a dark chapter in modern China's history. People's livelihoods were improving ever so slowly after the lawless Cultural Revolution destroyed much social fabric and many institutions. There were corruptions at many levels -- as there are during Hu-Wen regime. It was easy for the aggrieved to point finger and scapegoat the government.
China bashers will keep up their lies because student martyrs fetch the highest propaganda value; and for the media, revenues from myths flow directly to the bottom line -- no fact checks and editorial costs.
Take away these lies from hate-China folks, you take away their only meaning for life.
I don't tell Christians Jesus ascension from the dead on Easter is c*ck-and-bull because they need faith for moral support. But when an individual's indulgence in faith is all malicious slander, it becomes every citizen's duty to put an end to it.
Dao-Phooy
Hong Kong is the only place in China that can commemorate the anniversary of June 4 1989. The vigil which takes place in Victoria Park continues to be supported by a cross section of the community. Those of us living in HK during the demonstrations in May/June 1989 remember the courage of the students. No, we won't forget the brutal suppression that took place as it remains in our collective memory!
mercedes2233
Bravo, whymak. You are the first person to take this stance here. I agree with you that NO student was killed at Tiananmen, and some student protestors lied on camera about the deaths. The square was CLEARED of students leaving voluntarily. And no press reported on the atrocities committed on the members of the army either. There seems to have been an agreed distortion of the facts by foreign press.
The students played a very destructive role in the Cultural Revolution. They were not any smarter during the so-called Tiananmen massacre. If deaths are to be counted, we should also count the deaths CAUSED by the protestors.
John Adams
I commend the courage of the 1989 Tiamanmen leaders.
But the fact is that they were totally idealistic and naive.
If the 1989 student-led democracy movement had gained real ground it would have resulted in anarchy in China, just as the student-leaders themselves became anarchistic towards the end within Tiananmen Square (read the "inside story" books - some of which actually written by student leaders - if you don't believe me).
It's really stupid that June 4th still ranks so high on the agenda of those who profess to support democracy in HK ( like Albert Ho ) .
The road to democracy is long and hard
Put past mistakes behind us and MOVE ON - PLEASE !
hard times !
Sorry, most Hongkongers with conscience and sense can agree with what you said in your posting as their memory of the brutal and bloody crackdown on June 4th 1989 is really too deep and the crackdown directed by late Deng Xiao-ping can never be forgiven indeed !
blue
Nigella Lawson was also arbitrarily denied entry in the US simply because she admitted to past cocaine and cannabis use. Obama also admitted to past cocaine and cannabis use, but he was elected president twice!

Hong Kong still has a indepenent immigration policy regardless of the issue in the above article because an ordinary visitor is not normally denied entry and does not require a visa unlike China. Without a doubt HK does often deny politically sensitive people from arriving, but Macau also does this to some HK residents too, even residents who normally have no trouble entering mainland China! So there is without a doubt a blacklist, but was it really provided by Beijing or is it local immigration authorities second guessing Beijing?

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