More pro-democracy arrests in Hong Kong

ZEN SOO
·2-min read

Hong Kong police have arrested three former opposition politicians for disrupting legislative meetings earlier this year, as concerns grow over a crackdown on the city's pro-democracy movement.

Posts on the Facebook accounts of Ted Hui, Eddie Chu and Raymond Chan said they were arrested in relation to incidents in which they splashed pungent liquids in the legislative chamber.

The three former lawmakers disrupted meetings debating the now-approved National Anthem ordinance, which criminalises any insult to or abuse of the Chinese national anthem.

On May 28, Hui rushed to the front of the legislature, dropping a rotten plant and attempting to kick it at the legislature's president. Chu splashed a bottle of liquid in the legislature.

One week later, Chan hid a pot of liquid in a paper lantern and attempted to approach the front of the chamber, but dropped it after he was stopped by security guards. On the same day, Hui also splashed some liquid at the front of the legislature and was escorted out.

Both times, emergency services were called to the venue, and several pro-Beijing lawmakers reported feeling unwell.

A statement from Hong Kong police said the former opposition members were arrested on charges of contempt in the legislature and intent to cause harm to others.

Chu and Chan quit the legislature in protest after Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam postponed legislative elections by one year, citing the coronavirus pandemic.

The arrests of the lawmakers is the latest in a string of arrests in recent months. Earlier this month, seven pro-democracy lawmakers - including Chu and Chan - were arrested over another chaotic legislative meeting on May 8.

During that meeting, scuffles had broken out between the pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camps.

Last week, 15 pro-democracy lawmakers resigned en masse after Beijing passed a resolution that resulted in the disqualification of four of its members from the legislature. Hui and another lawmaker, Claudia Mo, left their posts last week, while the remaining lawmakers are expected to stay on until December 1. The resignations leave the body with virtually no opposition voice.