HONG KONG — Chinese officials in Hong Kong told expelled labor activist Han Dongfang Saturday that his passport had been canceled and he was barred from returning to his homeland.
Mr. Han told reporters his passport had been declared invalid because of alleged anti-government activities committed during the past 11 months, when Han was in the United States to receive treatment for tuberculosis contracted in a Beijing prison. He met President Clinton in April.
Han, a railway worker, founded China's first independent trade union during the pro-democracy movement that was crushed by the Army in June 1989. Known as the country's "Lech Walesa," after the Polish labor leader and president, Han topped the state's "most wanted list" of workers and was jailed for 22 months without trial.
His expulsion from China last week upon returning from the US drew protests from Washington. Several members of Congress, including Nancy Pelosi (D) of California, reminded Beijing that renewal of its most-favored-nation trading status next year was linked to improvements in human rights.
Han's effective exile might also reflect badly on China's bid to host the year 2000 Olympics, less than one month before the International Olympic Committee casts its votes.