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Hong Kong reporter denied entry to Beijing

A reporter for Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper was denied entry into Beijing this week, the paper's chief editor said on Thursday, according to a Reuters report. With just over a month to go before the start of the Beijing Olympics, the newspaper, known for its pro-democracy stance and critical Chinese reportage, said one of its senior reporters had been turned away at Beijing on July 1 and had his travel document confiscated.

"We had a reporter attempt to go to Beijing to report and he had his home return permit confiscated and he was forced onto the next plane back," Apple Daily's chief editor Cheng Ming-yan told Reuters, referring to the travel document that allows Hong Kong residents to enter mainland China.

Cheng said no reasons were given for barring the reporter -- Norman Choy -- except a citing of national security laws by Chinese authorities. "We feel this incident is very serious ... they have violated their Olympic promise to allow full press freedoms," Cheng added.

Chinese officials were not immediately available for comment.

Apple Daily's reporters are unique among Hong Kong's media outlets for not usually being granted official journalistic accreditation to enter mainland China, but are nevertheless often allowed to travel there on an unofficial basis.

"We've been hearing rumors that Beijing has been tightening restrictions on certain media and suspicious individuals ... I was prepared to be followed or to have my credentials checked, but to have my travel document confiscated surprised me," said Choy, Apple Daily's principal reporter, who said he had been allowed into Beijing for previous trips in May and last August.

Date posted: July 3, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 395