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Hong Kong disqualifies 4 pro-democracy lawmakers after China ruling

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  • Hong Kong anti-government protests

Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, Kwok Ka-ki, Kenneth Leung and Dennis Kwok

picture copyrightReuters

picture captionThe 4 lawmakers after they had been disqualified

4 opposition pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong have been disqualified with fast impact.

The expulsion got here moments after Beijing handed a decision permitting the federal government to disqualify politicians deemed a menace to nationwide safety.

The transfer is being seen as the most recent try by China to limit Hong Kong’s freedoms.

Different pro-democracy lawmakers are anticipated to resign in protest.

What does the decision say?

The brand new decision handed by China’s Nationwide Individuals’s Congress Standing Committee says that lawmakers must be disqualified in the event that they assist Hong Kong independence, refuse to acknowledge China’s sovereignty, ask international forces to intrude within the metropolis’s affairs or in different methods threaten nationwide safety.

It additionally permits the Hong Kong authorities to straight take away lawmakers with out having to strategy the courts.

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The transfer comes after China in late June launched a controversial and far-reaching nationwide safety legislation in Hong Kong that criminalised “secession, subversion and collusion with international forces”.

The legislation was launched after years marked by waves of pro-democracy and anti-Beijing protests. It has already led to a number of arrests of activists and has largely silenced protesters.

Who has been disqualified?

The 4 unseated lawmakers are Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki and Dennis Kwok of the Civic Social gathering and Kenneth Leung of the Professionals Guild.

“If observing due course of, defending programs and capabilities and combating for democracy and human rights would result in the implications of being disqualified, it will be my honour,” Mr Kwok informed reporters on Wednesday.

The boys had been amongst 12 legislators who had been earlier barred from standing in a legislative election earlier than the polls had been postponed to subsequent 12 months.

The group had referred to as on US officers to sanction these liable for alleged human rights abuses in Hong Kong.

The town’s pro-democracy legislators have 19 seats within the 70-seat legislature.

What causes are being given for his or her elimination?

Talking to the media, Hong Kong’s prime official, Chief Govt Carrie Lam mentioned the 4 council members that had been disqualified had already been discovered to not fulfil the necessities to face within the now-postponed elections subsequent 12 months.

She added that though she “welcomes various opinions within the Legislative Council” these needed to be expressed “in a accountable method”.

picture copyrightGetty Photographs
picture captionDifferent pro-democracy legislators have threatened to resign over the problem

All members must be in step with the territory’s mini structure, the Fundamental Legislation, and different native laws together with the brand new nationwide safety legislation, she mentioned.

“We couldn’t permit members of the Legislative Council who’ve been judged to not fulfil the necessities to serve within the Legislative Council, to proceed to serve there.”

She additionally dismissed issues {that a} mass resignation of the remaining pro-democracy lawmakers would flip the Legislative Council right into a “rubberstamp” physique.

What’s the background to this?

Hong Kong was a British colony till 1997 when it was returned to Chinese language management.

Beneath the precept of “one nation, two programs” the territory was supposed to keep up extra rights and freedoms than the mainland till 2047.

As a Particular Administrative Area, Hong Kong was to have its personal authorized system, a number of political events, and rights together with freedom of meeting and free speech.

In response to the safety legislation – handed in response to months of pro-democracy protests – the UK has supplied a path to British citizenship to residents nonetheless holding a British Nationwide Abroad (BNO) passport.

Round 300,000 individuals presently maintain BNO passports, whereas an estimated 2.9 million individuals born earlier than the handover are eligible for it.

China last month strongly criticised the UK in response, telling London to “instantly appropriate its errors”.

media captionThe historical past behind Hong Kong’s id disaster and protests – first broadcast November 2019

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