sábado, 11 de julho de 2009

Fotógrafo do SCMP entra, finalmente, em Macau

Macau lifts entry ban on Post lensman

Staff Reporters
South China Morning Post
July 11, 2009

South China Morning Post photographer Felix Wong Chi-keung has finally been allowed to enter Macau to carry out his press duties, although the reason why he was previously denied entry remains unclear.

Wong entered the city yesterday afternoon through the ferry terminal in Macau's Outer Harbour to cover a meeting of the legislature and take photos of property agencies.

He was twice barred from Macau in February and the Macau government did not disclose the reasons behind the rejection.

The Macau Government Information Bureau did not respond to a Post inquiry about Wong's entry yesterday, while a spokeswoman for the Security Police, which oversees the Immigration Department, declined to comment.

However, a very senior Macau official recently told the Post at a social occasion that he was sorry about refusing Wong's entry.

"We've resolved the matter. We're sorry about it," the official said, without further elaboration.

Post editor C. K. Lau said he was pleased that Wong had been allowed to enter Macau again. But he said he remained concerned that the reason for the ban was still unclear.

He said the Post respected the Macau government's authority to impose immigration controls, but hoped it would learn from the incident to ensure that, in the interests of the former enclave, such controls would be applied in a transparent and reasonable manner.

Wong was first stopped from entering Macau on February 18 to cover the trial of Ao Man-long, the disgraced secretary for transport and public works. He was rejected even though he held a press permit issued by the Macau government to cover the trial.

A week later, on February 25, Wong sought to enter Macau to cover the implementation of Macau's national security law enacted under Article 23 of its Basic Law and the trial of Ao. Again, he was refused entry.

A spokesman for the Macau government said at the time that the decision to bar Wong was made under sections 1 and 17 of the city's internal security law. Section 1 outlines principles in protecting public order, individual safety and assets, while Section 17 spells out measures against social unrest and terrorism.

Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen said in February the Hong Kong government had contacted the Macau government to express its concern, and noted: "This is a matter between two brothers in the same family."

There were suggestions that Wong was put on Macau's immigration blacklist because he was involved in a scuffle with Beijing police while covering the sale of Olympic tickets in August last year. Wong was briefly detained by Beijing police, but the matter was resolved and he has had no problem travelling to the mainland since then.

It was also suggested that Wong might have been mistaken by Macau officials as one of the activists led by legislator Leung Kwok-hung who tried to force their way into Macau in January. In fact, he was covering the news.

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