HK Journalist Denied Entry to Macau Over Security Concerns

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HK Journalist Denied Entry to Macau Over Security Concerns

Vivian Tam Wai-wan, a media professional and senior lecturer of journalism at a Hong Kong university, was denied entry to Macau by local authorities on June 15, citing public security concerns.

Ms. Tam had been invited by the Federation of Journalists in Macau to host a lecture on interview conduct. The Federation announced on June 15 that its workshop was canceled as the Macau security bureau had refused Ms. Tam entry.

The Federation later issued a statement expressing its “extreme regret and strong protest” over the Macau security authorities’ actions.

Ms. Tam works at the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The Federation later provided more details about Ms. Tam’s attempted entry into Macau.

It said she arrived at Macau’s Outer Harbor Ferry Terminal at about 11:40 a.m., at which time she was taken into a room and detained by the police for half an hour. Eventually, the Immigration Department of the Public Security Police denied her entry, citing “public safety,” and Ms. Tam returned to Hong Kong on the 1:30 p.m. ferry.

“The security authorities claimed there were strong signs that the individual was engaged in activities that endangered public security or public order. This reasoning is absurd,” the Federation stated, adding that Ms. Tam had entered Macau in 2023 without issue.

“The authorities are abusing their power based on one-sided speculation with unbelievable law enforcement standards. It seriously affects normal professional exchange activities in the community.”

It urges the authorities to explain the legal basis behind its decision.

The Federation criticized the authorities for abusing the law, causing concern among Macau residents about the erosion of their fundamental freedoms and rights.

The Public Security Police Force of Macau told The Epoch Times on June 16 that it does not comment on individual cases, but that it “always strictly adheres to the laws and established procedures when screening travelers in and out of the enclave,” in making decisions to allow or refuse entry.

Ms. Tam also writes for Ming Pao, publishing exclusive interviews and long articles in its “Sunday Life Supplement” section. She has won press awards at the Human Rights Press Awards, organized by Amnesty International Hong Kong, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Journalists Association.

In 2020, she authored a book related to Hong Kong’s anti-extradition movement, which was largely viewed as a protest against the Chinese regime’s influence in Hong Kong policy.

In recent years, other Hong Kong residents have been refused entry by Macau authorities, including former pro-democracy district councilor Derek Chu Kong-wai in March 2023, and a netizen named Tsang Hing-kwong, who was denied entry in January 2023. Mr. Tsang reportedly said that Macau’s law enforcement officers had questioned him about his political views and described his comments as “radical.”

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