Six passengers refused permission to land lodge claims for non-refoulement

31 Jul 2015

The Immigration Department (ImmD) refused entry to Hong Kong for six passengers arriving in two flights at the Hong Kong International Airport yesterday (July 30). Three of them were Indians coming from Delhi, India. The other three were an African female and her two young children who departed from Ethiopia. All these passengers lodged claims for non-refoulement as soon as they were refused permission to land.

Regarding the three Indian passengers, their legal representative had expressed to ImmD that they intended to lodge claims for non-refoulements before their arrival in Hong Kong. After immigration examination, the three Indian passengers were refused permission to land as they failed to meet the normal immigration requirements. While waiting for removal, the legal representative of these three passengers lodged claims for non-refoulement on their behalf.

For the three African passengers, a non-government organisation had already informed ImmD before their arrivals that they would like to reunite with another claimant in Hong Kong. During immigration examination, the African female admitted that their travel documents did not bear their genuine identities. Subsequently, all of them lodged claims for non-refoulement soon after they had been refused permission to land in Hong Kong. According to the records of ImmD, the female's husband, who is of African race, is also a non-refoulement claimant in Hong Kong. He previously lodged a claim for non-refoulement once he had been refused permission to land.

At present, all the said non-refoulement claims are under processing. In addition, ImmD will conduct further investigation on whether or not there is any person who intentionally arranged for the aforementioned passengers to lodge claims for non-refoulement in Hong Kong.

A rising trend has been observed in which claimants have lodged claims for non-refoulement upon arrival in Hong Kong. There were 150 cases referred from control points (monthly average: 12.5 cases) for the period from March 3, 2013, to March 2, 2014. From the commencement of the unified screening mechanism on March 3, 2014, to the end of 2014, there were 201 non-refoulement claim cases referred from control points (monthly average: 20.1 cases). In the first six months of 2015, the number of non-refoulement claims referred from control points was 168 cases (monthly average: 28 cases), which displayed a rising trend of lodging claims at control points.