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Donald Trump

Hong Kong protesters denounce Donald Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ outside US consulate

Many protesters from Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 February, 2017, 5:59pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 February, 2017, 8:55pm

More than 100 people gathered outside the United States consulate on Sunday to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country.

The protesters – mostly Indonesian domestic helpers – chanted “No one is illegal”, “No ban, no wall”, and “US imperialist, number one terrorist”, as they made their way to the consulate, in Central, from Chater Garden.

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The executive order on January 27 called for a 120-day suspension of the country’s refugee programme, and a 90-day ban on travel to the US from seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen.

The White House said the suspensions were to give time to tighten the approval process for entry to the US to “[protect] the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States”.

“With [Trump’s] policies and orders, the Trump presidency poses a threat to solidarity, racial understanding and justice that many of us uphold and promote,” said Eni Lestari, chairwoman of International Migrants Alliance, a campaign group.

Lestari, who comes from Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, added that she was afraid the list of banned countries could become permanent, or that more Muslim countries would be added.

There have been some specific cases of refugees affected by the suspension in Hong Kong because they come from one of the countries listed in the order.

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Another protester, Nick Thorpe, said: “America was built on the principle of democracy, and now it’s basing its foreign policy on the persecution of minorities and religions, [which] seems at odds with why the country was founded in the first place.”

The group had a petition, but no one from the consulate came to accept it.

Lestari said that was probably because it was a Sunday, and that they would fax it to the consulate the next day. But League of Social Democrats legislator Leung Kwok-hung, who had joined the march, said he did not believe no one was available at the consulate because “US imperialism operates 24 hours globally”.

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Trump selected the countries after US Congress identified them as “countries of concern” in 2015.

On Friday, a US federal judge in Seattle blocked the presidential order, leading to a race by Middle East travellers to enter the US before it possibly comes into effect.

On Sunday, the US Appeals Court rejected the administration’s request to restore the suspensions.

Due to the latest ruling, the fight is likely to go to the US Supreme Court.