Wednesday, March 3, 2021

three parliamentarians prodemocracy arrested, four others threatened

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They are accused of violence during a clash in Parliament last May, when Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam sought to urgently pass a law authorizing extradition to China. Police announced on Saturday [November 9th] that they arrested three pro-democracy parliamentarians and asked four others to report to the police station for arrest.

It was this bill that provoked the first protests five months ago. Despite the suspension of the project shortly thereafter, the movement became a broader pro-democracy movement and the clashes with the police went crescendo.

Parliamentarians arrested face up to one year in prison. One of them announced that he would not report to the police. "If you accuse me of breaking the law in Parliament, then come here and stop me. I'm waiting for you ", launched Lam Cheuk-ting. The Hong Kong Parliament is semi-democratic: half of the parliamentarians are elected by the people, the other half are chosen by commissions that are largely in favor of the Chinese central government.

Elections for district councils are to be held on November 24, and the pro-Beijing camp expects a heavy defeat. Since the beginning of the demonstrations, voter registration has increased significantly, and the pro-democracy camp will have, for the first time, candidates in each constituency. Many Democratic politicians have called on demonstrators to stop the violence, so as not to give the government an excuse to cancel the elections.

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