Eight supporters of democracy arrested in Hong Kong

Lawmaker Ted Hui was arrested today; yesterday, police arrested seven other pro-democracy activists, including four lawmakers. On 8 May, the opposition vigorously challenged the appointment of a member of the pro-China majority to chair the LegCo House Committee. Since no pro-Beijing politician was arrested, the crackdown represents “selective justice” according to supporters of democracy. For Hui, Hong Kong is now a “police state”.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) : An eighth pro-democracy leader was arrested today over a scuffle that broke out in May inside Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo).

Ted Hui, plus and seven other pro-democracy legislators and activists arrested yesterday, stand accused of contempt and interference with LegCo officers and violating the Council’s Powers and Privileges Ordinance.

On 8 May, during a heated session, a group of pro-democracy lawmakers and activists clashed, even physically, with pro-Beijing lawmakers over the appointment of a new chairperson of the LegCo’s House Committee, which vets bills before putting them to a vote.

LegCo officers dragged away pro-democracy LegCo members for trying to block the election of Starry Lee, a member of the majority, as committee chairwoman.

The House Committee had been without a chair since October 2019, when vice chairman Dennis Kwok, a pro-democracy member, took over from Lee who had to resign the post because she was running for re-election.

Beijing accused Kwok of sabotaging the committee’s work and preventing the election of a new president.

Under Lee’s leadership, the House Committee was able to schedule the approval of the new security law and a controversial bill that criminalises disrespect for China’s national anthem.

The eight arrested include five lawmakers and are set to appear before a court on Thursday.

The pro-democracy opposition calls the decision politically motivated and “selective justice” since the police did not arrest any governmental lawmaker involved in the scuffle.

Shortly after his release on bail, Hui spoke out against Hong Kong’s drift towards a “police state, where the police regulate politicians’ and LegCo members’ speech and behaviour”.

ASIA NEWS

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