Hong Kong arrests 2 disqualified lawmakers over oath fracas

Hong Kong arrests 2 disqualified lawmakers over oath fracas

Hong Kong police on Wednesday arrested two pro-independence lawmakers who were disqualified in a dispute over their oaths, in the latest round of legal action against activists involved in the Chinese territory’s pro-democracy movement.

Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching of the Youngspiration party were arrested and questioned at a police station for several hours before being released on bail.

They told reporters they were charged with unlawful assembly and attempted forcible entry and must report to court on Friday.

The two young activists angered Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed government when they used their swearing-in ceremony in October to stage an apparent protest by inserting anti-China insults into their oaths.

Their attempts to enter the legislature during subsequent sessions to take their oaths properly descended into chaos when they were barred from the chamber while awaiting a court ruling, which later disqualified them from office.

Leung and Yau were part of a new wave of lawmakers advocating greater separation from the mainland who were newly elected to office last year amid a rising tide of anti-China sentiment in Hong Kong, where fears are rising that Beijing is tightening its grip on the semiautonomous city.

Three former assistants were also arrested. Leung said the charges, which relate to events on Nov. 2, were “ridiculous.”

On that day, they scuffled with guards as they barged into the chamber, leaving the council session in disarray.

“We are still lawmakers at that time when we wanted to get into the chamber. Why is it unlawful?” he said.

The two said the charges were politically motivated.

“We are not afraid of this suppression and we will persist in our beliefs,” Yau said.

The Hong Kong government is pursuing cases against a number of other activists.

Last month police arrested nine people, including university professors, former student leaders and lawmakers, on public nuisance charges for their involvement in the “Umbrella Movement” protests. The 79-day movement ended more than two years ago after protesters failed to win concessions over electoral curbs.

The government is also trying to disqualify four other pro-democracy lawmakers who it says took their oaths improperly.

Individual cases include another lawmaker charged earlier this month with desecrating the Chinese and Hong Kong flags after he inverted some on the desks of pro-government members during one of the chamber’s chaotic sessions last year.

Kelvin Chan, The Associated Press

Just Posted

RDMW frustrated over WFP response to logging trucks on the highway

“The only way you are going to have our trust back is if you sit with us all at the table.”

Working group discusses public intoxication problem in Port Hardy

The aim is to “set up a framework to make the community a safer place.”

Port Hardy RCMP’s 2017 year-end crime statistics

“We ended 2017 with 4140 files opened, versus 4042 files opened from the year before”

Duncan family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

No foul play suspected in death of Stanley Okumoto, 79

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Suspect and Mountie bitten by police dog during arrest near Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

Vancouver Island job market ever-evolving

Various sectors driving employment in region will be represented at Black Press career fair in Comox Feb. 8

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Human remains found near Campbell River

Human remains were found in a rural area outside Campbell River, RCMP… Continue reading

Most Read