“Urgent Fax” Bars Canadian from Hong Kong

Hong Kong authorities and China Airlines barred a Canadian Falun Gong practitioner, Zenon Dolnyckyj, from boarding a flight from Taipei to Hong Kong.

Dolnyckyj, 26, is a business owner who studies the meditation practice which was banned in China in 1999, due to the government’s fear of its fast-growing popularity. Falun Gong is a traditional meditation system with components of spirituality and physical exercises. Although the practice is legal in Hong Kong, the government there has been under increasing pressure from the Chinese government to restrict it.

Dolnyckyj had been in Taiwan to promote the Chinese version of his book Coming For You and was booked on a China Airlines evening flight to Hong Kong. The book describes his experience of learning Falun Gong and appealing to Chinese authorities to stop the persecution against it in Beijing in November 2001. The Canadian was arrested, detained, and deported by Beijing authorities for peacefully appealing on Tiananmen Square along with 35 others. Dolnyckyj had previously traveled to Hong Kong without incident, including in December 2001 after the Tiananmen Square appeal.

“When we went to Tiananmen Square, we did it to help the Chinese people, and I wrote this book to help Chinese people. Falun Gong practitioners care about the Chinese people,” he said.

After Dolnyckyj passed through immigration and checked his luggage, a China Airlines employee at the boarding gate asked him to show his visa. Dolnyckyj explained that Canadians do not need a visa to visit Hong Kong and was told, “Not for others, but for you [a visa is needed].”

The airline employee then showed Dolnyckyj a fax received less then two hours earlier from the Hong Kong immigration office. The “urgent fax” for the Taiwanese carrier was sent “to advise that the above named person should not be carried to Hong Kong unless his travel document bears a valid visa for Hong Kong issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department.” Canadian citizens are normally permitted in Hong Kong for 90 days without a visa, according to the Hong Kong Immigration website.

Dolnyckyj is identified by name, date of birth, and passport number in the fax, which was signed by K. K. Yip and sent to the duty manager of China Airlines at the Hong Kong airport. He remains stranded in Taipei.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Epoch Times, USA
Feb. 21, 2004
Genevieve Long
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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday February 23, 2004.
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