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article imageSome Activists Are Being Turned Away From Hong Kong And The Torch Run

By KJ Mullins     May 1, 2008 in World
Two Canadians wanting to be part of the torch run on May 2 are out of luck in Hong Kong. The Chinese nation has been banned for Tsering Lama, 24, from Toronto, and Kate Woznow, 27, formerly of Vancouver. They were part of a group of seven denied entry.
Woznow is the campaign director the Students for a Free Tibet. The group has planned on holding a press conference to coincide with the torch run.
"When I pressed them further and said is it because I'm here to speak with media, they said they weren't going to give me any details for the reason of my deportation and I was sent on a plane back to New York," Woznow said.
The group had hoped that Hong Hong would them entry. In the past Hong Kong has been tolerant of those speaking out on China's human rights issues. That appears to no longer be the reality. CTV's Beijing Bureau Chief Steve Chao has also said that human rights groups in Hong Kong have been suppressed by the local government.
"To deport them for just wanting to express themselves is a big question mark as to exactly what kind of freedoms can be enjoyed in Hong Kong," Chao added.
"And that is very much a concern to many residents in Hong Kong . . . where many people have fought long and hard to keep the freedom they have enjoyed for several years."
Three Danish activists were deported last weekend and an organizer for an independent Chinese writers' group that calls for freedom of expression in China was turned away from entering the country on Tuesday.
Hong Kong had been a British colony until 11 years ago when it was returned to China. The country had enjoyed Western-style civil liberties, including freedom of expression in the past.
Many Westerns have been granted entry visas which is raising the fear of demonstrations during Friday's torch relay. There are plans in place to have 3,000 police officers guard the torch. The torch has come under protests in France, the U.K. and the United States.
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