Two transgender women claim customs officials asked them if they were “cut already” before being barred from entering Hong Kong.
The women were stopped and questioned after arriving on a flight from Thailand, telling officials they were in Hong Kong to go sightseeing and shop.
They were told they “did not satisfy the purpose of a holiday” and subsequently asked to sign two forms, one confirming they had undergone full gender reassignment surgery and another to confirm they would voluntarily go back to Thailand.
When they refused to sign the forms they were put on the next flight back to Bangkok.
Jonathan Man Ho-ching, a solicitor acting for one of the women, said there was a “possibility” of discrimination against the pair and a “lack of understanding … of different sexes and genders”.
An Immigration Department spokeswoman told the South China Morning Post that the women were “suspicious” and “failed to satisfy” that they were genuine travellers.
In 2013, 25-year-old transgender woman Eliana Rubashkyn, who had arrived from Taiwan and now lives in Auckland, claimed Hong Kong airport officials had behaved “like animals” while conducting a body search.
“They were animals. I kept asking for a female but they said if I refused (the search) they would deport (me). When it was over, I was destroyed,” she said.
A customs spokesman denied her claim, saying “the passenger had his clothes on during the whole search and customs officers did not touch any sensitive parts of his body”.