A former executive member of Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Student Union was denied entry to Macau on Sunday morning.

Derek Liu, the student union’s incumbent president, revealed the news on Sunday during a University of Hong Kong Student Union forum commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre.

The identity of the former executive member was not revealed, other than that the person was an executive member in 2016. Liu, an internal secretary of the student union in 2016, was also barred from entering Macau in October that year.

Tiananmen Massacre forum university students
Forum commemorating Tiananmen Massacre hosted by university students on June 2, 2019.

“The Macau authorities denied entry to our former executive member around the anniversary of June 4. It is difficult for people not to guess what the reason was,” the student union said in a social media post.

The June 4 massacre ended months of student-led demonstrations in China. It is estimated that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people died when the army was deployed to crack down on protesters in Beijing.

‘Internal security’ 

The student union said the former executive member travelled to Macau on Sunday via ferry and was stopped at the border. They were denied entry on the grounds of being a threat to the internal security of the Special Administrative Region.

The union added the person involved was allowed to enter Macau last month and had no record of previous arrests: “We condemn the Macau authorities for using an excuse to limit our former executive member’s personal freedom,” it said.

It urged the Macanese authorities to explain the incident.

Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Photo: Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

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

The Hong Kong Free Press #PressForFreedom 2019 Funding Drive seeks to raise HK$1.2m to support our non-profit newsroom and dedicated team of multi-media, multi-lingual reporters. HKFP is backed by readers, run by journalists and is immune to political and commercial pressure. This year’s critical fundraiser will provide us with the essential funds to continue our work into next year.

funding drive press for freedom

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.