Hong Kong: 'Politically-motivated' disqualification of lawmakers condemned
‘Bulldozing through arbitrary decisions via the Chinese government makes a mockery of the rule of law’ - Yamini Mishra
Responding to the disqualification of four opposition members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council on “national security” grounds earlier today, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Regional Director, Yamini Mishra, said:
“This is a politically-motivated attempt to legitimise repression of opposition legislators.
“Using a framework laid out in Beijing and executed by the Hong Kong government, these lawmakers have been banished from the city’s legislature for daring to espouse views that the ruling authorities don’t want to hear.
“Once again, Hong Kong has allowed its laws and its legislature to be bypassed as Beijing makes up the rules as it goes along. Bulldozing through arbitrary decisions via the Chinese government makes a mockery of the rule of law.
“Pro-democracy lawmakers and their supporters must be allowed to meaningfully participate in the political process. The authorities should allow all disqualified LegCo members to challenge the decision in court and let the legal process play out.”
Four lawmakers banished, prompting mass resignation
Earlier today, China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed a resolution that set out four criteria to disqualify Hong Kong lawmakers. According to the state media Xinhua News Agency, lawmakers will lose their seats if they are ruled to have promoted or supported Hong Kong independence, refused to acknowledge China’s rule over Hong Kong, sought intervention by foreign powers in Hong Kong affairs, or engaged in acts that are deemed to have jeopardised national security.
The decision is retrospective and soon after the National People’s Congress Standing Committee decision was announced the Hong Kong government disqualified opposition lawmakers Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung, without any formal judicial process.
The four had already been barred from running in the September election (later postponed until 2021), for “soliciting intervention by a foreign government”. Following today’s disqualification of the four lawmakers, the remaining 15 pro-democracy legislators announced their resignation.