'Long Hair' denied mainland entry once more over political T-shirt
Ng Kang-chung, Joyce Ng in Shenzhen and Gary Cheung
League of Social Democrats chairman "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung has been barred from entering the mainland for the second time since April, after he refused to take off a T-shirt bearing political slogans.
The words on his T-shirt called for public nomination in Hong Kong's 2017 election of its chief executive, and lauded the democracy movement that was quashed on June 4, 1989, in Tiananmen Square.
Leung was travelling with 48 other legislators to Shenzhen for talks with Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei on electoral reform.
On arrival at Shenzhen's Huanggang checkpoint, opposite Hong Kong's Lok Ma Chau, they waited in their two coaches as border officers went on board to check their documents.
When it was Leung's turn, a border officer told him his top was inappropriate but did not elaborate, the lawmaker said.
"I asked him what law I had broken," Leung said. "He did not tell me. He left the coach for a while, then returned and told me that I had been denied entry."
Leung's 14 pan-democrat allies continued the trip after he alighted voluntarily.
Leung dismissed suggestions he was deliberately trying to attract media attention. "I have the right to express my views and I am trying my best to make my views known to the Chinese government," he said.
On April 11, Leung was denied entry to Shanghai when he refused to surrender leaflets and books relating to June 4.
At the Shenzhen seminar, Leung had planned to present books on universal suffrage to mainland officials.
Despite his absence, however, there was no lack of "gifts" from the pan-democrats. Eight of them lined up with offerings for Li, Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office director Wang Guangya and liaison office director Zhang Xiaoming .
The three officials received the gifts with smiles - except when Labour Party lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan presented a photocopied editorial dated February 2, 1944, from the Xinhua Daily, the party mouthpiece of the time.
The editorial called for equal and universal suffrage, saying there should be no unreasonable restrictions on the right to be elected. Li was stony-faced as he passed the copy on without looking at it.