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Two Hong Kong Lawmakers Arrested Over 2019 Protests

2020-08-26 03:08:04
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HONG KONG — The Hong Kong police arrested two pro-democracy lawmakers on Wednesday, their party said, in what appeared to be part of a growing crackdown on the city’s political opposition.

The lawmakers, Lam Cheuk-ting and Ted Hui, who are members of the city’s Legislative Council, were arrested because of their presence at an antigovernment protest in the Tuen Mun district on July 6, 2019, the Democratic Party said in a Facebook post.

Mr. Lam was also accused of rioting in connection with an attack in which he and antigovernment protesters, as well as other bystanders, were set upon by a mob in the Yuen Long subway station on July 21 last year, the party said.

A party representative said the lawmakers had been serving as mediators when the Tuen Mun protests, which began peacefully, took a violent turn.

A police spokeswoman would not immediately confirm the arrests or the nature of any charges, saying that the authorities would release details later.

Wu Chi-wai, chairman of the Democratic Party, said in a phone interview: “Lam Cheuk-ting has been turned from a plaintiff to a defendant, and Ted Hui has been arrested after carrying out the duties of a legislator. This is a completely unreasonable situation and should be condemned.”

The arrests came months after Beijing imposed a new security law in Hong Kong that pro-democracy activists fear would result in a loss of freedoms in the semiautonomous Chinese territory.

They also followed the biggest roundup of prominent opposition figures in recent memory. More than a dozen leading pro-democracy activists and former lawmakers in Hong Kong were arrested in April in connection with the protests that raged in the city last year.

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