On December 30, 2022, Hong Kong immigration authorities denied Michiko Kiseki, a freelance photographer known for her photography of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrations, entry to the city, according to news reports and a statement by the Hong Kong Journalist’s Association.
An immigration officer at the Hong Kong International Airport repeatedly asked Kiseki about her February 2022 photo exhibition featuring the 2019 pro-democracy demonstrations before denying her entry to Hong Kong, according to a thread about the incident that Kiseki’s tweeted on January 5. She was planning to spend the New Year holidays in Hong Kong but had to fly back to Japan the next day, she wrote on Twitter.
Japanese citizens do not need a visa to enter the city and can stay up to 90 days under Hong Kong’s immigration rules.
Kiseki is an award-winning photographer whose work on Hong Kong protests was regularly published by Japanese media outlets. She has also published a photo book and held an exhibition in Japan featuring her Hong Kong protest photos, according to her website.
CPJ reached out to Kiseki via messaging app, but she declined to comment. The Hong Kong immigration department did not immediately respond to CPJ’s email requesting comment.