Two transgender women were refused entry to Hong Kong by immigration officers while on holiday from Bangkok on the weekend.
The women, who told officials they were there to sightsee and shop, were told that they did not "satisfy the purpose of their holiday", according to reports from the South China Morning Post.
They were then presented with two forms, one confirming that they had undergone full gender reassignment surgery, and one stating that they would immediately return to Bangkok. After refusing to sign the documents, the women travelled home on Saturday night.
According to lawyer Jonathan Man Ho-ching, who is now representing one of the women, they were also asked by airport officials whether they were "cut already".
There is a “lack of understanding ... of different sexes and genders," the lawyer said, noting that he “could not rule out the possibility of prejudice and discrimination” in the case.
Before attempting to visit Hong Kong, the pair had travelled to Switzerland, Spain, Taiwan, South Korea.
The chairwoman of the Transgender Resource Centre, Joanne Leung Wing-yan, noted that their previous travel history gave Immigration officials "no reason" to ask them to leave.
“I just hope there will be a different kind of treatment and understanding for transgender people,” she said.