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Hong Kong's High Court dismisses Falun Gong's appeal

2009-09-08 Author:By: Shelley Huang

In a legal battle that has lasted for more than six years, the Court of Appeal of the High Court of Hong Kong on Friday dismissed their appeal of a ruling in their case against Hong Kong's Immigration Department.

The case stems from an incident in February 2003 in which Hong Kong immigration authorities refused entry to more than 80 Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners at Hong Kong International Airport. The Taiwanese had valid visas and were on their way to attend a conference.

Following the incident, four of the practitioners filed a court complaint arguing they had been denied entry based solely on their beliefs. A fifth practitioner later joined the complaint.

The immigration authority denied that the Taiwanese travelers were turned away because of their Falun Gong affiliation, claiming they posed a threat to national security.

Theresa Chu (朱婉琪), one of the five appellants and a lawyer, who also represented the group in court, yesterday called the ruling by the appeals court "strange" and "unjust."

In 2005, two immigration officers questioned as witnesses said the Falun Gong practitioners were sent back to Taiwan for "national security" reasons, but refused to provide documents related to the incident.

(Taipei Times, September 8, 2009)