Yuli Riswati, a journalist who wrote for Suara and the online media outlet Migran Pos, was deported from Hong Kong on December 2 after being detained for 28 days for failing to renew her visa. Riswati was also a domestic worker in Hong Kong. Yuli Riswati was an award winning journalist who wrote for Suara and the online media outlet Migran Pos. Riswati was selected as a finalist for the Taiwan Literature Award for Migrants this year for her writings on sexual violence and trauma experienced by Indonesian Migrant workers.
On November 4, Riswati was detained for failing to renew her visa. Only on November 8, was she allowed to submit a visa extension. Three days later, the department gave her a removal order which she appealed. Only on November 28 was Riswati notified her appeal failed and the department confirmed she would be deported. The day after on November 29, Riswati was forced by authorities to withdraw her visa application on the basis that she would not be able to return to Indonesia if she did not withdraw the application. She reluctantly withdrew the application. On December 4, Yuli was deported to Indonesia.
Dang, the chairperson of the Hong Kong Federation of Domestic Workers Union said: “Usually when it is found that the worker’s visa has expired, as long as there is still a contract, the employer confirms the hiring of the worker and explain in a letter to the Immigration why they forgot to extend the visa, the Immigration always allow the workers to get their visa renewed without any hassle. I have never seen a case that the Immigration will go to the homes and arrest workers based on this.”
AJI said: “What happened to Yuli shows the abuse of freedom of expression and freedom of the speech. We condemn the arrest and the deportation of Yuli.”
The IFJ said: “In the last year the world has seen a steep decline of media freedom in Hong Kong, which has resulted in the deportation of Yuli Riswati. Yuli’s arrest, continued detainment and deportation contravenes the democratic principle of procedural fairness. The failure of authorities to act impartially and protect democracy is alarming.”