Macau pro-democracy activist Chiang Meng-hin was refused entry into Hong Kong on Monday afternoon, ahead of the 20th anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty.

New Macau Association chairperson Chiang said on Facebook he wanted to travel into Hong Kong to be treated at a clinic. But immigration officials were alerted as he checked in with his fingerprints through an electronic machine. He was briefly detained.

Chiang Meng-hin New Macau Association immigration
Chiang Meng-hin. Photo: Chiang Meng-hin via Facebook.

After around an hour, Hong Kong officials told him he was not eligible to enter the city according to the Immigration Ordinance.

He added that immigration officials presented him with three notices indicating the refusal of his entry, detention and deportation. But he was not allowed to take photographs or copies of the notices.

He was then required to purchase his own ferry ticket back to Macau. His identity card remained in custody of the ferry’s captain, and was to be handed over to Macau authorities upon his arrival back in the former Portuguese colony.

“It’s only June 26, there’s still a long time until July 1,” he said on Facebook.

An Immigration Department spokesperson declined to comment on Chiang’s case. She said the department considers both immigration regulations and immigration policy – each person’s specific situation – when deciding whether to allow him or her into Hong Kong.

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Immigration Tower. File photo: HKFP/Ellie Ng.

“I always used to think that Hong Kong is developing ahead of Macau in many areas,” added Chiang. “Whether it’s society, economy or politics, I always saw many good aspects that we should learn from.”

“I can’t believe that this thing [deportation] that Macau has done for so long, Hong Kong is doing too.”

See also: More pro-democracy activists ejected from Macau, hours after successfully entering as tourists

A number of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were either refused entry or ejected from Macau last month as Chinese state leader Zhang Dejiang toured the city. Those barred included lawmaker Kenneth Leung, who had earlier successfully entered mainland China, and lawmaker Andrew Wan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Hong Kong between Thursday and Saturday.

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.