1. 法政匯思就馬凱最近被拒入境香港的事件 (「該事件」) 深表關注。當上月馬凱的工作簽證續期申請被入境處拒批後
3. 我們留意到，政務司司長於 2018 年 10 月 8 日聲稱，國際慣例是不會向任何人、包括申請人本身、公布
2018 年 11 月 13 日
【Statement of the Progressive Lawyers Group on the Refusal of Victor Mallet’s Entry
1. The Progressive Lawyers Group (the “PLG”) is deeply concerned about the recent refusal of Victor Mallet’s entry into Hong Kong (the “Refusal”). After the denial of his application to renew his work visa last month by the Immigration Department, Mallet was allowed to stay in Hong Kong as a tourist for 7 days. This time Mallet was denied entry as a tourist without any reasons given. The Refusal in effect suggests that the prominent editor of Financial Times is blacklisted by the Hong Kong Government, despite that it has repeatedly claimed that it stands by press freedom.
2. Hong Kong Courts have made clear that there must be a legitimate reason in every denial of entry: see Chu Woan Chyi v Director of Immigration (CACV 119/2007, para 16). The silence of the Hong Kong Government on the reason for denying Mallet’s work visa has already raised widespread concerns amongst the international community. The UK, the EU, the US, Canada and Australia have expressly alluded to their worries.
3. It was suggested by the Chief Secretary of the Hong Kong Government on 8 October 2018 that it is international practice that Governments do not give reasons for the refusal of work visa applications; not even to the individual himself. This is incorrect. The British Consul-General Hong Kong stressed on 15 October 2018 that if an individual is denied entry to the UK or a visa application is refused, the individual would be notified of the reasons behind the denial so they can consider whether they have grounds for appeal. Furthermore, according to the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission, the decision to refuse a Schengen short stay visa is notified to the applicant using a standard form. The decision to refuse the visa must also include the reasons on which the refusal was based. Indeed, the PLG is also not aware of any Hong Kong legal principles that would prevent the Government from disclosing the reasons of refusal to the individual himself. Court authorities show the Hong Kong Government did reveal reasons of refusal to visa applicants.
4. In the PLG’s earlier statement on denying Mallet’s work visa dated 8 October 2018, we said, amongst others, that a free press is vital to Hong Kong in bolstering its economic success. Such view has been shared recently, for example, by the statement of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Their President remarked forcefully as follows: “The rejection of a renewal of work visa for [Financial Times] correspondent Victor Mallet sends a worrying signal. Without a free press, capital markets cannot properly function, and business and trade cannot be reliably conducted”. This is a clear example that the Refusal by the Hong Kong Government has a marked adverse impact on the confidence of the business community in the future of Hong Kong.
5. We urge the Hong Kong Government to provide reasons for the decision to exclude Mallet from the city without delay. This would address local and international concerns that the Refusal is evidence of the Hong Kong Government censoring the media.
6. We also note that Mallet has lodged an appeal against the denial of his work visa renewal. We further urge the Chief Executive in Council to review the decision promptly. Any further delay would inevitably lead to intensifying doubt whether the Hong Kong Government has been acting in good faith.
13 November 2018
Progressive Lawyers Group
(PDF version: https://goo.gl/4KnZ3N)
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