A 28-YEAR-OLD mainland overstayer the Government said was a voluntary returnee has claimed she was forced to sign forms agreeing to her repatriation. The woman says she was subjected to a four-hour ordeal of threats and shouted demands at Immigration Tower in Wan Chai and almost fainted before agreeing to persistent demands to sign repatriation papers. Her claims raise further questions about the Immigration Department's treatment of the mainlanders they arrested for overstaying their visitation permits. Mainlanders have reported a long list of claims of mistreatment in detention centres, saying they were routinely strip-searched and humiliated. Rights advocates said they suspected mainlanders whom officials claimed had 'voluntarily returned' to the mainland might also have been pressured. 'It's difficult to say what happened to the ones who were sent back. We have no way of contacting them. But we suspect many of them were probably pressured into signing the forms,' said legislator Cyd Ho Sau-lan. Ms Wong, who requested that only her surname be made public, has since returned to Hong Kong and has given an account of how she was 'pressured into signing' the repatriation papers. She said that at 6am on February 8, immigration officers arrested her at her parents' home. 'They immediately threatened to take me to the Lowu border and deport me, but I knew at the time that they could not do that because we were still seeking legal aid from the Legal Aid Department to stay here,' Ms Wong said. Instead, they took her to Immigration Tower in Wan Chai, where they allegedly tried to pressure her into signing the form. Ms Wong said she was tired and hungry at the time. She had not slept well at the overstayers' sit-in protest site the previous three nights. 'I told them I didn't want to sign, that I had a right to stay here. I told them I was hungry and thirsty, but they didn't give me any food. They said, 'You sign and I'll buy you a box of takeout food',' Ms Wong said. 'They said: 'If you don't sign, we'll send you to Victoria Prison. It's very dirty and smelly there.' ' An Immigration Department spokesman said officers did not pressure people into signing forms. 'Of course, we encourage them to go back to the mainland. And we tell them they will be deported if they don't go back on their own,' he said. 'I'm not aware of this woman's case. But if she felt we pressured her, she could have refused on the spot. We can't hold their hand and force them to sign their signature.' He was surprised to learn Ms Wong had made her way back to Hong Kong. 'She's back? How did she come back?' he asked. As soon as she returned to the mainland, Ms Wong applied for a visitation permit and was allowed to return to Hong Kong on March 3.