Seven members of the pro-democracy Hong Kong opposition, including four MPs, were arrested for “Contempt” and “Obstruction” at the work of members of the Legislative Council (LegCo), said the police on Sunday 1er November. Their involvement in the clashes that occurred in May in LegCo, the local parliament, at a time when the former British colony was the object of a strong takeover by Beijing, is blamed on them.
Clashes are frequent in LegCo, the pro-democracy opposition largely using its few legal powers to obstruct and try to prevent the passage of texts to which it opposes.
On May 8, clashes crystallized around the leadership of the House Committee (House committee) whose role is to review bills before they are considered.
This committee then had no leader since October 2019 and pro-democracy elected officials had for months managed to prevent the appointment of a new leader. That afternoon, one of the pro-Peking, Starry Lee, had settled into the chair of the leader, hiding behind a legal analysis written by government lawyers supporting him.
But opposition officials, putting forward their own legal arguments, accused her of violating the law.
Chaos then took hold of the room. Security agents and pro-Beijing elected officials lined up around Mme Lee as pro-democracy people tried to impose their own candidate for office. One had even tried to climb a wall to get to the stand.
Security agents then forcibly evacuated several pro-democracy elected officials, while rival parliamentarians carried signs and filmed with their phones and broadcast this confusion live with their social networks.
On Sunday, the police attacked pro-democracy exclusively in the latest offensive against opposition to central Chinese power. Universal suffrage is a crucial demand of the pro-democracy camp, which was at the heart of the mobilizations of 2014 and 2019.
The former British colony experienced its worst political crisis from June to December 2019 since its handover to China in 1997, with often violent protests denouncing Beijing’s increasingly strong interference in the affairs of its semi- autonomous. More than 10,000 people have been arrested in Hong Kong since June 2019 and the courts are crumbling with the number of cases to be tried.