Malaysia Bagus News
Hong Kong has rejected the asylum claims of a group who helped shelter US whistleblower Edward Snowden, their lawyers say.
The asylum-seekers, from Sri Lanka and the Philippines, housed Mr Snowden for two weeks when he fled the US after leaking thousands of files.
Their cases were rejected because their countries were deemed safe, one lawyer said, calling the move "unreasonable".
The group, who are also seeking asylum in Canada, have 14 days to appeal.
The asylum-seekers - a Sri Lankan couple with two children, a Sri Lankan man and a Filipino mother with a daughter - were introduced to Edward Snowden by their lawyer, Robert Tibbo.
He brought him to their homes in 2013 just after the former National Security Agency contractor revealed he had leaked classified information to the press revealing widespread US government surveillance.
The identity of the group, who sheltered him for about two weeks, only became public shortly before the release of an Oliver Stone film about the whistleblower.
"We now have less than two weeks to submit appeals before the families are deported," Mr Tibbo said.
There are about 10,000 asylum seekers in Hong Kong. But the territory only recognised 72 people as refugees between 2009 and December 2016, the South China Morning Post reported in February.
Most spend years in limbo waiting for the government - which is not a signatory to the UN refugee convention - to process their case.
Marc-Andre Seguin, a Canadian lawyer representing the group in their Canadian application, told RTHK they appeared to have been targeted by Hong Kong immigration officials.
"We're talking about people who entered Hong Kong years apart from one another, who submitted asylum claims years apart from one another, and yet all these decisions are coming at the very same time," he said.
"Clearly there is targeting here and our clients have reason for concern."
Two of the Sri Lankan refugees say they are being illegally pursued by police from their own country who travelled to Hong Kong in late 2016. Sri Lankan police have denied the allegations.
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