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

Bear spotted in Qualicum Beach

Full-grown bear spotted in complex at Berwick and Rupert roads

Canadians on epic journey arrive in Nanoose

Snaw-Naw-As First Nation welcomes participants of Canada C3 voyage

Kwalikum Secondary student back from year in Netherlands

Don’t pass up opportunity to travel with Qualicum Beach Rotary’s help, says Taylor Hunter

Resident slam loud dynamite blasting at Cedar Ridge Estate development

Sleigh feels insulted by Mayor Lefebrve who failed to understand their suffering

RDN creates new service to fund INfilm

Regional district to enter three year agreement with film commision for annual funding of $50,000

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

Silver Creek farm search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

Qualicum Beach residents discuss long-term vision for community wellness

Three more meetings on topic scheduled for Oct. 24 and 25

VIDEO: Motorcycle catches fire in Nanaimo traffic

Motorcyclist takes fast action to get burning bike off the road along the old Island Highway

Open house features both sides of the issues on Bowser sewage project

New association opposing marine outfall use event to also express their concerns

Nanaimo man assaulted, tied up and robbed at his home

Incident occurred about 7 a.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at a home on Beverly Drive

Parksville draft park plan goes before public

People invited to open house Oct. 28 at Parksville Community and Conference Centre

Most Read