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The Latest: Hong Kong activist glad he didn't disappear

Thai student activist Netiwit Chotipatpaisal gestures as he talks to the media on Hong Kong teen pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong's detention at Bangkok's airport, in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. Thai authorities, reportedly acting on a request from Beijing, detained the Hong Kong teen pro-democracy activist on his arrival at Bangkok's airport in the latest sign of what rights groups said Wednesday is China pressuring neighbors as it tries to quash dissent at home and overseas. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
October 05, 2016 - 2:12 AM

BANGKOK - The Latest on Thailand preventing Hong Kong teen pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong from entering the country and sending him back (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

Hong Kong teen pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong says he's glad he didn't go missing after being stopped and turned back at Bangkok's airport, in a reference to the recent case of five Hong Kong booksellers who disappeared and later turned up in custody in mainland China.

Wong spoke briefly to reporters after arriving back at Hong Kong's airport on Wednesday.

He said that after his plane touched down in Bangkok, 20 Thai police and immigration officers were waiting for him. He said they didn't allow him to contact his family or a lawyer, or give a clear reason why he was being turned away.

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1 p.m.

A spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok said that they were monitoring developments surrounding Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong and that they were urging Thai authorities to clarify his status.

Steve Castonguay said, "We support individuals exercising their universally recognized fundamental freedoms of opinion expression peaceful assembly and association throughout the world."

Thai authorities prevented Wong from entering the country late Tuesday, in a move supporters suspected was triggered by pressure from Beijing.

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12:45 p.m.

A report from Thai security officials says Joshua Wong was sent back to Hong Kong on a Hong Kong Airlines flight that departed Bangkok at 11:40 a.m. The flight is scheduled to land at 3:45 p.m. Hong Kong time.

Thai authorities prevented Wong from entering the country late Tuesday, in a move supporters suspected was triggered by pressure from Beijing.

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11:20 a.m.

Laurent Meillan, the acting Southeast Asia representative for the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, called Thailand's refusal to allow Hong Kong teen pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong to enter the country an unnecessary move, saying he was coming to Thailand to attend a peaceful event. "We call for the immediate release of Mr. Joshua Wong," Meillan said.

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11 a.m.

A Thai security report obtained by The Associated Press says that more than 10 police officials from the Royal Thai Police Special Branch and Immigration Police were waiting for Hong Kong teen pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong when he arrived at Bangkok's main airport.

Thai authorities prevented Wong from entering the country late Tuesday, in a move supporters suspected was triggered by pressure from Beijing.

The security report said that Wong was questioned and was not allowed to use his cellphone or computer. It said he was expected to be sent back to Hong Kong on an Emirates Airline flight later Wednesday as that was the airline he flew to Thailand on.

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10:45 a.m.

Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee said in response to questions about Hong Kong teen pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong that permission for foreigners to enter Thailand "involves various factors and has to be in line with the relevant immigration laws and regulations."

He added that the ministry is reviewing the facts with the Immigration Bureau and other authorities.

Thai authorities prevented Wong from entering the country late Tuesday, in a move supporters suspected was triggered by pressure from Beijing.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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