Joshua Wong, secretary general of Demosistō has returned to Hong Kong after he was refused entry to Thailand.

“When I asked them why they detained me in Bangkok, they said ‘we will not give you any explanation, you have been blacklisted already’,” Wong said.

He boarded Hong Kong Airlines flight HX772 from Bangkok this afternoon after he was detained at Suvarnabhumi Airport. He was due to speak at two Thai universities.

Joshua Wong bangkok back
Joshua Wong. Photo: Nathan Law, via Facebook.

“Once I got off the plane – before I got to the counter to queue to pass through immigration – right after I left the tarmac, there were already more than 20 customs officers and police receiving me,” said Wong.

He said that his passport was confiscated at 1am and at 2am he was sent to the detention centre at the airport. He was prevented from contacting his family or Thai human rights lawyers.

50-50 chances

Wong said that he thought that his chances of getting into Thailand were 50-50.

“As a Hongkonger, I did not think I would be detained by police in other detention centres outside of Hong Kong, if I didn’t go to the mainland,” he said. “Once I got off the plane I heard that – according to some Thai news reports – the Thai authorities had sought blacklists from the Chinese government.”

See also: ‘Nothing can stop people thinking,’ says Demosistō’s Agnes Chow as Joshua Wong detained in Thailand

Nathan Law, the chairman of the pro-democratic party, said that they had lost contact with Wong for more than 12 hours, and that the “Thai government did not openly and officially give us information about Wong…”

Joshua Wong and Nathan Law
Joshua Wong and Nathan Law. Photo: Nathan Law, via Facebook.

The Hong Kong Immigration Department said the Chinese Embassy had asked Thai authorities to ensure Wong’s rights and interests were protected.

Protest and statement

Demosistō held a protest on Wednesday afternoon in Admiralty against the Thai government. Meanwhile, 28 incoming lawmakers signed a statement saying that they “strongly condemn the Thai government” for refusing entry to someone who has valid travel documents, had not violated any Thai laws, and was there only because of an invitation to speak at a university.

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.