Actress Mia Farrow ‘may be barred from Hong Kong’ as torch arrives

April 29th, 2008 - 5:31 pm ICT by admin  

Hong Kong, April 29 (DPA) Actress Mia Farrow may be barred from entering Hong Kong to give a speech about human rights on the day the Olympic torch is carried through the city, a legislator claimed Tuesday. Prominent pro-democracy legislator Emily Lau said she had heard that the actress, who has criticised China for failing to stop genocide in the Sudan, would not be allowed into Hong Kong.

Danish artist and human rights activist Jens Galschiot and his sons were sent home Saturday after arriving in Hong Kong to take part in anti-China protests Friday when the torch relay takes place.

Speaking on government-run radio RTHK, Lau described the refusal to admit the artist as “really terrible” and said she had heard that Farrow, who is due to arrive later this week, might also be barred.

“Mia Farrow is coming to attend a press conference and some other events, and some people tell me she and others may also be turned away,” Lau said.

“If we do that, we are going to turn ourselves into an international laughing stock. These are people with a very, very high international profiles. They are not the Taliban or Al Qaeda - so what is going on here?”

Referring to the expulsion of Galschiot and his sons, Lau said: “These guys are not coming here to create trouble but it seems our administration is so tense, so frightened.

“We’ve become a very frightened city. We are turning people away at our airport every day now.”

Farrow, 63, is due to speak at a Foreign Correspondents’ Club lunch Friday where she is expected to repeat her call for China to act on the crisis in Darfur, Sudan.

There was no immediate response from the Hong Kong Immigration Department to questions on whether or not Farrow would be allowed into Hong Kong.

Security is expected to be extremely tight in Hong Kong Friday as the Olympic torch returns to Chinese soil for the first time after its troubled round-the-world tour.

The former British colony is the only place inside China where demonstrations and anti-China protests are allowed and a number of groups are planning to mount demonstrations to coincide with the relay.

Hong Kong’s Beijing-appointed Chief Executive Donald Tsang is expected to be the first of 120 torch-bearers to run in the 33-km relay, which will be marshalled by 3,000 police.

Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” arrangement guaranteeing political freedoms including the right to peaceful protest.

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