A key leader of the Beijing protests eventually quelled during the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989 was refused entry to Hong Kong on Sunday. Feng Congde, 53, said his treatment reflected badly on Hong Kong’s judicial independence, while a prominent activists’ group condemned his deportation. Feng arrived at the city’s airport from Tokyo at around noon, having flown in for events marking the 30th anniversary of the crackdown. H e was then taken away by immigration officers, according to the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, which organises the annual June 4 vigil in the city. At 6pm, the alliance said he had not been allowed into the city and was on his way back to Japan. In a statement issued through the alliance, Feng said the refusal proved “that ‘one country, two systems’ is a total lie”, referring to the arrangement under which Beijing has promised a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong. “There is no judicial independence in Hong Kong,” Feng said. “Hong Kong only listens to the Chinese Communist Party.” Speaking after Feng was taken away but before his entry being blocked was confirmed, a vice-chairman of the alliance, Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, condemned the treatment. “Obviously, the Hong Kong government has a blacklist of political dissidents. We strongly condemn and express deep regret over the Hong Kong government’s move,” he said. The Immigration Department declined to comment on a specific case, but said its decisions were made “having regard to the circumstances pertaining to each individual case”. Feng was one of the key leaders of the pro-democracy student movement in Beijing in 1989. After the crackdown, he was among the students wanted by the Communist Party. He went into hiding for about 10 months before arriving in France in 1990, reportedly via Hong Kong. Since then he has campaigned for democracy in China. Feng had been in Tokyo for a seminar marking the 30th anniversary, where participants urged the US government to exert more pressure on China to improve human rights, according to media reports. What became of Tiananmen Square dissidents after crackdown? Tsoi said on Sunday: “We met him at a June 4 seminar last month and he had indicated his intention to come to Hong Kong during the June 4 anniversary.” He would not say if Feng was in Hong Kong at the alliance’s invitation. Unlike on the mainland, in Hong Kong it is lawful to hold public events to commemorate the 1989 pro-democracy movement and the brutal crackdown. The issue is a taboo for the central government, which refers to it as “political turbulence around the spring and summer of 1989”. In a rare move, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe on Sunday defended Beijing’s handling of the protests and its current use of “vocational training centres” in the far-western region of Xinjiang, saying both were necessary to ensure the nation’s stability and development. “People’s quality of life [in Xinjiang] has improved and they enjoy secure and stable lives,” he said at a question and answer session after his speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. “Therefore China’s policy in Xinjiang is absolutely right.” China’s rapid economic growth and its citizens’ improved living standards validated Beijing’s actions, he said.