I am Pakistani refugee and I arrived in Hong Kong in 2009 from Jehlum where my life was in mortal danger and police cannot help and protect me. I traveled along the Karakorum Highway, on the Silk Road, one of the wonders of the world, to a safe place because my family enemies want to kill me.
On my mind I have a question: Why do many people doubt the reason and way refugees come to Hong Kong? They doubt about this very much, so I will tell you my reason and my long trip along land from Islamabad to Hong Kong. I have never flown in an airplane in my life.
I was happy in my motherland Pakistan and I was having a good job running my own business. But after my father’s death, my other family members wanted to hold and take all our land and other property. At the time my father passed I was 18 years old. Over a few years the fighting get very worse and they killed my older brother and also want to kill me.
I was lucky to run away to another Islamabad to save my life, but they are strong and rich and find me there. I escape again and never feel my life is safe in Pakistan. In my country who have more money buy the police. Then the police refuse to protect victims who cannot pay more. They will also make false charges to arrest and put long time in jail those victims until they find money.
How did I know about refugees in HK and why I choose HK? I had some friends who were before here as refugees and they teach me how I can come, what documents I need and how much time and money it take. At that time I sell my business very cheap because hurry to get a passport with China visa.
I knew that I must reach Shenzhen (China) and that was my first target. I did not choose airplane because by road is much cheaper. I buy bus ticket from Islamabad to Gillgit, which is one and a half day drive. From there I take another bus to Sost, the Pakistan/China border which take more two days.
I buy again bus ticket from Sost to Kashgar (China) where I pass again immigration and they give me entry into China. But my target point is still very far because I need to reach Shenzhen, where Hong Kong is very near and I can easy enter. From Kashgar I buy train ticket to Urumqi, the big and old China city. Then I take a bus to Shanghai, another to Guangzhou and last one to Shenzhen.
I get a lot or problems in China all the way about food and language that is very different from my country. I reach Shenzhen at 11 o’clock at night and buy a SIM card for my mobile to contact my friend to ask him to please tell me how I enter Hong Kong because my visa is only for 23 days in China.
I stay in a hotel in Shenzhen because I am very tired as I was in train and bus for more than two weeks without rest as I carry on my journey. So the next morning my friend call me and tell me “You need to pay HK dollars 5500 for some men and they can help you to enter in Hong Kong by sea on a boat.” [In 2014 smugglers charged 14000 RMB for an illegal passage to Hong Kong]
At night the same day I meet the men near the Lo Wu McDonald and I pay them the money. They arrange for me a boat to take me to Hong Kong. They drive me in a small car to the seaside and a Chinese boy driver and other 8 people I see on the boat. It is 12 o’clock at night and the man go back in the car. I sit on the small boat that I worry it is very dangerous and only good to catch small fish.
After two hours already in the sea, some HK Marine Police boat come to us and tell us “Hands Up and show your identity!” It is very unlawful what I was doing, because without visa documents we can’t enter in any country, but I must find a safe place to save my life.
After I show my passport to the marine police, they say, “You are safe. Don’t worry!” and they bring me inside police station. From there they send me two days later to CIC detention center. I was bailed out in October 2009 and until today I am waiting to start my interview process.
(Name, Immigration and contact details provided)