By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, Oct 5: Joshua Wong, the 19-yr-old Hong Kong student activist was detained by Thai authorities at Bangkok airport and deported at China’s behest.
Although Hong Kong citizens can enter Thailand for up to 30 days without a visa, authorities in Thailand acting on China’s request have deported the activist known for leading Hong Kong’s 2014 pro-democracy protest (Umbrella Movement) to Hong Kong from Thailand following his detention from Suvarnabhumi airport.
“China has sent a request to the Thai government to seek cooperation to deny him entry into Thailand,” Thailand’s independent newspaper, The Nation quoted Pol Col Pruthipong Prayoonsiri, Deputy Commander of the Suvarnabhumi immigration office, as saying in its report Oct 5.
“Wong was detained after arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport,” Wong’s party, Demosisto revealed citing Thai student activist Netiwit Chotipatpaisal who had invited him to Bangkok.
The activist was invited to speak at two universities in Thailand about Hong Kong’s ‘Umbrella Movement’ street protests and on setting up his political party, Demosisto.
Upon de-boarding the plane, Thai authorities confiscated the bespectacled activist’s passport and detained him to be deported.
“I’m glad that I didn’t meet the same fate of Causeway Bay booksellers, more than 20 police and airport officers confiscated my passport and detained me as I left the plane (in Bangkok),” the student activist said at a press conference in Hong Kong after his deportation.
“Thai officers couldn’t tell me under what law I was being held under. But they said I was blacklisted,” he added.