Sun, Nov 08, 2015 - Page 3 News List

MA-XI MEETING: Singapore holds activists denied entry at airport

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Three Taiwanese activists who planned to protest the meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore were yesterday denied entry to the city-state, while a legislative candidate was taken into custody and held incommunicado prior to the meeting.

Wu Chun-yen (吳濬彥), Yang Shang-en (楊尚恩) and Lo Yi (羅宜), of the civic groups Democracy Tautin, Restoration of Taiwan Social Justice and Dreamdom respectively, early yesterday flew to Singapore, but were refused entry and faced deportation, Democracy Tautin general coordinator Lin June (林倢) said.

Immigration officials at Singapore Changi Airport detained the trio for questioning because “their reason for entry was suspicious, as the three only planned to stay for one day, which is too short for tourism purposes,” Lin quoted the three as saying.

The trio were questioned in an interrogation room and forced to have their fingerprints taken, Lin said, adding that the officials later told them they were not permitted to enter Singapore and would be deported, without specifying a reason.

“[Denying the three entrance and deporting them] is a special rule today,” a local official later told the three, Lin said.

As of 11:30am, the trio could not be reached by telephone and all other contact with them had been lost, Lin said, adding that international human rights organizations in Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong had been contacted for assistance in ensuring their safety, as their status is unknown and they are being held incommunicado.

The three planned to submit a letter to the Taipei Representative Office in Singapore stating that Ma no longer has the legitimacy to represent Taiwan, and that the Taiwanese public and government have no obligation to acknowledge any conclusions that might be reached at the Ma-Xi meeting.

The means and purpose of the planned protest, which were made public at a press conference beforehand, were peaceful, reasonable and legal, and the three did not violate any local laws or the rights of others, the groups said in a joint statement, adding that their freedom of expression should be tolerated.

Separately, Taiwan Solidarity Union legislative candidate Hsiao Ya-tan (蕭亞譚) and members of his campaign team, who on Friday traveled to Singapore to protest the Ma-Xi meeting, were taken into custody by Singaporean police yesterday morning and were being held incommunicado as of press time last night.

Hsaio’s office director, Lee Chiu-hua (李秋華), said that Hsiao and his team had not engaged in any form of protest and were arrested for no reason, as they were not carrying any objects that could be used in a protest and were only trying to observe the meeting.

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