Pro-democracy lawmakers arrested amid Hong Kong’s crackdown on dissent


Hong Kong police arrested seven pro-democratic lawmakers on Sunday on charges related to obstructing a legislative council meeting in May, the latest move by authorities amid a broader crackdown on anti-government forces.

Lawmakers Wu Chi Wai, Andrew Wan, Helena Wong, Kwok Wing Kin, Eddie Chu, Raymond Chan and Fernando Cheung announced their arrests on their individual Facebook pages.

The arrests, which took place early in the morning, did not appear to be directly linked to the new national security law but come as police have arrested around 30 prominent pro-democracy figures in recent months.

The charges against the seven were instead over scuffles that broke out with security guards during a faceoff between pro-democracy and pro-Beijing lawmakers in the city’s legislature earlier this year.

Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Beijing imposed the national security law on the city on June 30, a move widely condemned by Western governments and human rights groups. The law punishes what Beijing broadly defines as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

Critics of the legislation say it represents the latest move by Beijing to tighten its grip over Hong Kong and erode its judicial independence. (Source: CNA)