23 Oct 2015
The Immigration Department (ImmD) refused entry to Hong Kong to nine Indian males at the Macau Ferry Terminal and the China Ferry Terminal from October 16 to noon on October 23. Among these nine passengers, seven passengers lodged claims for non-refoulement through two legal representatives after they were refused permission to land.
All of these nine passengers flew from India to Macau, and then arrived in Hong Kong from Macau by ferry. Prior to their arrivals, their respective legal representatives made written requests to the ImmD acting on their behalf. Among these nine passengers, eight had previously been refused permission to enter Hong Kong. After immigration examination, these nine Indian passengers were refused permission to land as they failed to meet the normal immigration requirements. However, the legal representatives immediately lodged claims for non-refoulement on behalf of seven passengers. For the other two Indian passengers, they requested to discuss with their legal representative, whereupon the legal representative declared that he no longer represented them and they abruptly decided not to lodge claims for non-refoulement. Finally, these two passengers were repatriated to Macau on the same day.
All these non-refoulement claims are being processed. The ImmD will conduct further investigation on whether or not there is any person who intentionally arranged for these 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 about 200 non-refoulement claim cases referred from control points (monthly average: 20 cases). In 2015, as at the end of September, the number of non-refoulement claims referred from control points was 255 cases (monthly average: 28.3 cases), which indicates a rising trend of lodging claims at control points.