Abode seekers who have returned to the mainland claim they have been fined, jailed and in some cases beaten despite an assurance from Hong Kong officials that they would not be punished. Right of Abode Committee representative Fu Ka-wai said she had received complaints that 21 mainlanders who carried a special letter of pardon from the SAR Government were ordered by mainland officials to pay a 5,000 yuan (HK$4,700) fine. Four people who could not afford to pay were jailed for 15 days and another for two days, said Ms Fu, who made the claims yesterday at a rally attended by about 1,500 abode seekers. Sixty-three adults and three children, aged three to five, had their heads shaved outside the Court of Final Appeal in protest at the January 10 ruling ordering most of 5,114 applicants back to the mainland. Ms Fu produced a photocopy of a stamped receipt from the Shenzhen border office dated January 16 purportedly showing that one abode seeker had paid a 5,000 yuan fine. She claimed some people had been beaten but said she was still collecting evidence. She did not name any of the complainants and said she had not lodged complaints with the Government, choosing to air the matter through the media. A Security Bureau spokeswoman said the Government had not received any complaints about the mainland's treatment of returning abode seekers. 'If we receive a complaint we will look into it and follow it up,' she said. Father Franco Mella, who campaigns for abode seekers, said: 'Everybody here is afraid if they go back now they will be treated in the same way.' The Immigration Department said 461 people had returned to the mainland so far and 672 had applied for the letter to allow them to return without punishment. Legislator Lau Kong-wah, chairman of the Legco security panel, said there was obviously something very wrong with the situation. 'A promise is a promise. If that is broken then, of course, the credibility of the Government is also broken,' he said. 'The immediate effect will be that people will be discouraged from willingly returning because some of them will think they will go back and be punished.' Legislator Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, who represents the legal constituency, called for reparations for those affected. 'One of the reasons why people insist on staying in Hong Kong is because of these kind of events,' she said.