Beijing: Several former lawmakers and opposition activists in Hong Kong were reportedly arrested on Wednesday morning, on suspicion of violating the city’s sweeping national security legislation, in what is being seen as the biggest crackdown yet since the law was imposed by Beijing last year.
According to reports, those arrested had participated in a primary election held last July, designed to thin the field of pro-democracy candidates ahead of legislative elections in September, a CNN report said.
Those elections had to be postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but not before several of the candidates were disqualified and warned that those participating could be charged with breaching the newly imposed security law.
On Wednesday, Hong Kong police appeared to follow through on that threat, reportedly arresting primary candidates in an early morning sweep.
Those detained include former Democratic Party lawmakers James To, Andrew Wan, and Lam Cheuk-ting, who had until late last year been members of the city’s Legislative Council, before they and all other members of the pro-democracy bloc stepped down in protest of the government’s decision to eject several lawmakers.