Demosistō’s Joshua Wong said that prior to his detainment at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, he had “not felt such fear” since his arrest prior to the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests.
Wong wrote an account of his ordeal in Bangkok whilst on a Hong Kong Airlines flight back home on Wednesday. Thai authorities refused him entry after his name appeared on a blacklist provided by China.
Wong said that he had thought during his time in a closed detention room about whether “the Thai government would, according to some national security law in the country, bring me to the Thai court, and then drag it out a week or two before sending me back to Hong Kong.”
He said he felt intimidated and feared he would be found guilty of some crime in Thailand and jailed for a few years, preventing his return home.
The activist was received by 20 Thai customs officers and police as he exited the plane and headed into the airport building in Bangkok. He told Hong Kong reporters on Wednesday that he was asked whether he was Joshua Wong, and was then requested to hand over his passport.
Wong also said in the press conference that after he returned to Hong Kong, “the Thai government openly told Thai media that they had received directions from China to put me on the blacklist. I believe that the origin of this incident is clear, I think that the key is that it clearly is connected to the Beijing government.”
“The Chinese police have already set up the Department of Overseas Fugitives Affairs, saying that some countries and territories have better conditions for arrest, [and] I believe Thailand is one of them,” he added. “China used its power to suppress Hong Kong activists.”
“If this had happened in Hong Kong, I could contact my lawyers and media friends and buy some time – but I was in the Bangkok airport, unfamiliar with the situation. I could not connect to Wi-Fi on my phone in time, so there was no chance of requesting outside help. So I could only pass on my passport…” he said in his statement.
Whilst under detention, he was unable to contact anybody, including his lawyer and family.