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Thai authorities detain, expel Hong Kong democracy activist

Activist Joshua Wong, center, shows the letter from the Thailand Immigration office upon arriving at Hong Kong airport from Bangkok, 5 October 2016
Activist Joshua Wong, center, shows the letter from the Thailand Immigration office upon arriving at Hong Kong airport from Bangkok, 5 October 2016

AP Photo/Kin Cheung

This statement was originally published on freedomhouse.org on 5 October 2016.

Following Thai authorities' action to bar Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong from entry into Thailand, detain him for 12 hours, and forcibly return him to Hong Kong, Freedom House issued the following statement:

"The government of Thailand should be ashamed of denying Joshua Wong entry due to his peaceful democracy activism," said Daniel Calingaert, acting president of Freedom House. "The courage of activists like Joshua Wong should be celebrated rather than feared. If Thailand's decision was based on pressure from the Chinese government, Thai authorities are responsible for helping the Chinese Communist Party expand its repression abroad."

Background:

On October 5, 2016, Thai authorities detained Joshua Wong at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport for 12 hours before forcibly returning him to Hong Kong. Wong, a leader in the 2014 Umbrella Movement and co-founder of Hong Kong's Demosistō political party, was traveling to Thailand upon invitation to speak about his activism.

The government of Thailand has repeatedly acted to promote the authoritarian interests of the Chinese Communist Party, including aiding in the forcible repatriation of Chinese political dissidents and refugees, and allowing Chinese agents to monitor Chinese activists in Thailand.

Thailand is rated Not Free in "Freedom in the World 2016", Not Free in "Freedom of the Press 2016", and Not Free in "Freedom on the Net 2015".

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