Yvonne Leung, who was a student leader during Hong Kong’s 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, has been denied entry to Macau, after she arrived in the city at around noon on Wednesday.

Leung, a former president of the University of Hong Kong student union, was officially barred from entering the SAR at 1:10pm, according to the university’s Campus TV. Leung confirmed to HKFP that she had been denied entry but did not comment further. She has since returned to Hong Kong.

The city’s Public Security Police Force cited section 17(1)(4) of its Internal Security Law to bar Leung, saying that there were strong signs that Leung would participate in events harming Macau’s public order. The section states that non-Macau residents can be barred from entry if they are considered as persona non grata, threats to internal security, or suspected to have links to cross-border crimes such as international terrorism.

yvonne leung
Yvonne Leung Lai-kwok. File Photo: Cloud.

Leung was one of the five student leaders who were present at a negotiation with the government during the Umbrella Movement.

Recently, she has been a member of legal teams of lawyers representing pro-democracy activists prosecuted by the government over the Umbrella Movement and the 2016 Mong Kok clashes.

In September 2016, Samuel Lai – an external secretary of the University of Hong Kong student union at the time – was also denied entry to Macau with authorities citing the same reasoning.

Carrie Lam
Carrie Lam in a negotiation table with students during the occupy protests. Photo: GovHK.

Macau has frequently banned current and former activists and public figures from entering the city citing internal security concerns.

Last year, a literary festival in Macau cancelled events with three writers after the organiser reportedly received news from the authorities that they could not be guaranteed entry into the city. In 2017, Hong Kong journalists from Apple Daily, HK01 and South China Morning Post were banned from entering the territory. They had planned on reporting on the post-Typhoon Hato relief efforts.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.