A VETERAN China-watcher has had his home return permit seized in Shenzhen during a recent visit. Jin Zhong, editor of the China-watching Open Magazine, was stopped by immigration officers and told he was not 'welcome to return' when he recently attempted to cross into Shenzhen to meet a relative. Democracy activists described the incident as a bad omen for future freedoms post-1997. In the past two months, mainland officials had barred at least four local pro-democracy activists and journalists from entering the mainland by making void their home return permit or refusing their applications. Mr Jin said last night: 'They did not explain why. I was not questioned or inspected. 'They just took me to a duty officers' room where I was kept for 90 minutes and then I was expelled.' Mr Jin goes to China about once a year to cover news or travel. He had never been denied entry before or been involved in any trouble, he said. This time, he was supposed to meet a newly-wed niece in Shenzhen. His Open Magazine, published for about nine years, has been known for its critical articles towards Beijing policies. Mr Jin also keeps in good contact with some mainland pro-democracy activists such as Liu Xiaobo and Bao Zunxin. Democratic Party legislator Cheung Man-kwong, who is also an activist of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, said last night: 'It demonstrates our worry has become a matter of fact. 'Beijing cannot allow any opposition voice and it will try to suppress whatever it thinks unacceptable,' he said. 'It also rings an alarm bell for the freedom of press here.' Mr Jin said he had no intention of re-applying for a home return permit.