More activists barred as Macau marks 10 years of Chinese rule

More activists barred as Macau marks 10 years of Chinese ruleHong Kong, Dec 21 - More political activists were barred from entering Macau as the territory marked the 10th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule, a news report said Monday.

Three activists from Hong Kong said they were detained and roughed up by immigration officers when they arrived in the territory by ferry Sunday, the day of the anniversary, the South China Morning Post reported.

One of the pro-democracy activists told the newspaper he was detained for an hour, pushed and kicked in the groin before being put back on a ferry to Hong Kong.

The incident followed the ejection of two Hong Kong journalists and more than a dozen activists trying to visit Macau as its new leader Fernando Chui was sworn in Sunday by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

In his speech, Hu praised Macau for implementing a national security law, a move shelved in neighbouring Hong Kong because of mass street protests led by pro-democracy groups.

Macau, a former Portuguese colony that reverted to Chinese rule in 1999, is politically closer to China than Hong Kong. Political protests are rare, and there is no significant pro-democracy movement in the territory.

The territory of 450,000 people has become the world's most profitable gambling destination, bringing in more money than the Las Vegas Strip since opening its casino industry to overseas investors in 2003. (IANS)