Reporters on the Job
• How Many Candidates? Two candidates contesting a top political slot would not be unusual in most places, but Peter Ford discovered how novel the idea is in Hong Kong when he followed Alan Leong to a campaign event (see story).
"Until he appeared in two televised debates with the incumbent chief executive, Mr. Leong had been a relatively obscure legislator. His status as the first man ever to contest the C.E. elections without Beijing's blessing, though, has made him a minor star," says Peter. "Leong hardly had a chance to say anything through his bullhorn: Too many people interrupted to ask if they could pose with him for a photo."
The March 20, 2007, story "Refuge often eludes young Iraqi men," raised questions about possible violation of international law in turning away Iraqis at the airport in Amman, Jordan, rather than allowing them to ask for protection, a process known as nonrefoulement. The US State Department responded by e-mail, after the story ran, to queries by staff writer Ilene R. Prusher, stating that refusing entry in this case was not considered refoulement, as Jordan was barring individuals with suspect documents or those they considered a security risk. The spokesperson wrote that the State Department had recently raised the issue with Jordan and was told that Iraqi asylum-seekers would not be involuntarily returned to Iraq, except in cases of security or criminal concerns. She also stated that the principle of nonrefoulement has not been established as customary international law, so that unless a country had signed a legally binding international document on the issue, it did not have an international legal obligation to comply – although the State Department encouraged countries to act in consonance with nonrefoulement.
Deputy world editor