Foreign nationals denied entry to Hong Kong included Chen Weiming, sculptor of the Goddess of Democracy statue used in the 4 June 1989 Tiananmen vigil, and six Falun Gong dance troupe technicians.
- In January, police used pepper spray to disperse thousands of demonstrators surrounding the LegCo building during voting on a HK$66.9 billion (US$8.6 billion) rail link with Guangdong province. Protesters highlighted inadequate consultation or compensation for those evicted.
- On 29 and 30 May, police arrested 13 activists and twice confiscated Goddess of Democracy statues displayed in Times Square. Using new tactics, hygiene department officials pursued prosecution for failure to obtain a "public entertainment" licence. Following public criticism, the statues were returned before the Tiananmen vigil which attracted between 113,000 and 150,000 participants.
Several activists prosecuted for unlawful assembly or assaulting officers while demonstrating outside the Central Government Liaison Office were acquitted. In August, police issued internal guidelines on charging individuals for assaulting security officers after public criticism of cases perceived as frivolous prosecutions or biased sentencing.
In April, the government issued administrative guidelines on promoting racial equality.
- In May, a coroner’s jury returned a verdict of lawful killing over the March 2009 hillside shooting of Hong-Kong born Nepali street sleeper, Dil Bahadur Limbu, by a police constable investigating a nuisance complaint. Ethnic minority groups had called for an independent commission of inquiry. Application for judicial review by Dil Bahadur Limbu’s widow was pending.
- In October a post-operative transsexual woman lost her legal challenge for the right to marry her boyfriend in her reassigned sex.
Refugees and asylum-seekers
A 2009 pilot scheme, screening applicants opposing deportation on grounds that they would be at risk of torture, completed 122 applications in 10 months, leaving a backlog of 6,700.
- In November three UNHCR mandated refugees and one successful torture claimant long resident in Hong Kong challenged the constitutionality of policies denying them legal status, visas and the right to work.