Controversial French comedian Dieudonne was being held at Hong Kong airport Thursday after flying in to give performances in the city, with his production company saying he was likely to be deported.
The comedian, who has been repeatedly convicted in France for anti-Semitic remarks, arrived in Hong Kong early Thursday and had been held for seven hours by immigration officers at the airport, his lawyer Sanjay Mirabeau said.
It was not immediately clear why he had been stopped or on what grounds he could be deported.
The South China Morning Post reported the comedian was held after complaints by the French and Israeli consulates ahead of his shows.
Hong Kong’s immigration department said it would not comment on individual cases.
However, in a statement in response to enquiries about the case, the department said it was “committed to upholding effective immigration control by denying the entry of undesirables”.
Mirabeau said there was no reason for the comedian to be detained.
“His new show, ‘In Peace’, does not contain anything contrary to law. He speaks of plants, ecology,” he said.
Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala’s company Plume Productions said he was being held with his children at the airport.
“He will likely be deported in the coming hours,” it said in a statement.
The French consulate confirmed that Dieudonne, 49, had been held by immigration officers on his arrival.
“It’s a question of implementing immigration laws relevant to the Hong Kong authorities,” a consulate spokesman told AFP.
The consulate added that it had not asked the Hong Kong government to prevent Dieudonne entering the city.
But according to police sources cited by the Post, the consulate had written a letter expressing concern over the visit, warning that it could trigger “a disturbance to public order”.
Hong Kong has a strong French community with more than 12,000 French citizens registered by the consulate as living in the city. Read More