Hong Kong lawmakers arrested over disruption of legislature

265805 Pinchos- PGB promo Banner (25 x 5 cm)-5 copy

Hong Kong police arrested seven people Sunday over scuffles that broke out with security guards during a faceoff between pro-democracy and pro-Beijing lawmakers in the city’s legislature earlier this year.

Those arrested include current and former lawmakers and a legislative aide, police said. All seven are from the pro-democracy camp.

A police statement said that six men and one woman had been detained on suspicion of contempt and interfering with legislative personnel. It wasn’t clear if that referred to other lawmakers or the security staff.

The statement said the arrests are part of an investigation into a May 8 committee meeting in which pro-democracy lawmakers rushed toward the chairperson’s seat and a phalanx of security guards shoved back.

The guards carried out several pro-democracy lawmakers, including Eddie Chu and Ray Chan, after they had been ordered to leave for disorderly conduct. Both stepped down on Sept. 30.

Chan said on Twitter that he was arrested at 7 a.m. Sunday, and a statement on Chu’s Facebook page said he had also been picked up.

The Democratic Party said on its Facebook page that three of its legislative members had been arrested, including party chairman Wu Chi-wai. Security guards marched Wu out of the chamber as he tried to wave a cardboard sign at the committee chair and others on the podium.

The May 8 incident was the first in a series of scuffles over a bill approved in June that made it illegal to insult the Chinese national anthem.