With threats and propaganda, China tries to silence support for Hong Kong protests 

The Washington Post
Date: September 6, 2019
By Shibani Mahtani, Gerry Shih and Tiffany Liang

Students gather Sept. 2 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for anti-government protests, which have continued in Hong Kong since June. (Laurel Chor/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

HONG KONG —  When Bella, a mainland Chinese student, returned home after a week-long program in Hong Kong, it didn’t occur to her to take any special precautions. She hadn’t ventured near the protests that have rocked the city.

Approaching the mainland border point last month, the 21-year-old was pulled aside along with several others. Officers combed her phone, discovering Facebook and its Messenger app, both banned in China. She said her entry permit — a card used by mainland Chinese to travel to and from Hong Kong — was briefly confiscated while officers questioned her and accused her of deleting messages to hide unspecified evidence. 

“I was shocked that they would do that without reason,” said Bella, who gave only her first name for fear of reprisal, explaining that she had downloaded Facebook to follow fan pages of her musical idol, David Bowie. “I kept trying to explain, but the officers wouldn’t believe me.”     [FULL  STORY]