Police arrested three former Hong Kong opposition lawmakers Wednesday for disrupting legislative meetings earlier this year, as China continues to dismantle the city’s guarantees of political autonomy.
Eddie Chu, Raymond Chan and Ted Hui were each arrested by Hong Kong police on Wednesday morning for splashing pungent liquids and other items during meetings in Hong Kong’s main legislative chamber, the three revealed on their Facebook pages.
None of the ex-lawmakers were named by Hong Kong police in a statement on the matter, which only confirmed that it had arrested three suspects matching the ages of the men.
Authorities claimed that the suspects were held on suspicion of contempt in the legislature and intent to cause harm to others.
In late May, Hui rushed to the front of the chamber and dropped a rotten plant before attempting to kick it at the body’s president. Chu also took part, splashing a bottle of liquid.
One week later, Hui splashed liquid at the front of the legislature and was escorted out by security. Chan also attempted to approach the front of the chamber with a large pot of pungent liquid, but was stopped by security guards and dropped it.
Upon discovering the liquid, multiple Chinese Communist Party-aligned lawmakers reported feeling unwell and emergency responders were brought in to address the matter.
Speaking to reporters upon being released on bail, Hui mocked the charges as “ridiculous.”
“This only shows to all Hong Kong people and to the world that this regime is a tyranny, that its persecution against dissidents, against opposition, against democratic legislators has never stopped. It’s been non-stop prosecution against us,” he said.
Hui was one of 15 Hong Kong lawmakers who resigned earlier this month. Chan and Chu had already resigned months prior, after the city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam used the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to delay the next set of legislative elections by a year.
Earlier this month, Chu and Chan were two of seven pro-democracy lawmakers who were arrested for similar activities that led to their most recent brush with the law: protesting in the legislature.
In June, China approved a sweeping and contentious national security law that permitted Communist Party authorities to crack down on “subversive and secessionist activity” in Hong Kong.
The legislation was passed amid warnings and criticism both in Hong Kong and internationally that it would be used to curb opposition voices and dissent.
Many criticized the law as Beijing’s boldest effort to date to crack down on the territory, which has maintained a semi-autonomous system separate from that of mainland China since it was handed back to the Communist nation by the British in 1997.
Since then, CCP-backed authorities have made hundreds of arrests based on the law, which broadly bars “any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government.”
With Post wires