Early Wednesday morning, Hong Kong police arrested three former pro-democracy lawmakers for disrupting legislative meetings back in May and June.
The Facebook pages of Ted Hui, Eddie Chu, and Raymond Chan announced the arrests, which occurred in their separate residences.
The three legislators were involved in different incidents of splashing foul-smelling substances during legislative meetings on the now-passed National Anthem Bill, which criminalizes any disrespect to the Chinese anthem.
Disruptions at the Council
Hui kicked a pot of rotten plants at the Legislative Council, interrupting the meeting about the anthem on May 28.
A week later, Eddie Chu and Ray Chan rushed to the front of the chamber during a heated debate and dropped pungent fluids to protest the controversial bill.
Officers detained the ex-lawmakers for intending to use harmful substances to cause harm or mental irritation to others. Footage shows police accusing Hui of mentally irritating the legislative council president Andrew Leung during the plant incident.
Likewise, Chu announced on his Facebook page that he was arrested for violating Section 23 of the Offences against the Person Ordinance and that he could face up to three years in prison.
More Nails in the Coffin
All three arrested men were members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, but all resigned in some form of protest against tightening anti-democratic developments in the former British colony.
Chu and Chan stepped down in September to boycott the delay of the Legislative Council election, which was postponed for a year under the pretext of coronavirus restrictions.
Pro-democracy leaders, however, believe this to be a power grab for the government to extend the current legislative term and to prevent a newly elected pro-democracy majority in the chamber.
Hui is among the 15 lawmakers who resigned in solidarity and protest of his four colleagues who were expelled from the council just last week.
Another resigned legislator, Claudia Mo, said in a Vox interview that “every time Hong Kong’s people step up our fight for democracy, Beijing would just tighten the noose around us.”
With China’s new national security law in place and zero oppositional voices left in the Legislative Council, Hong Kong’s freedom, rights, and democracy face an all but grim future.
“But don’t underestimate Hong Kong people’s determination to fight on,” said Mo, “especially in the hearts of our young people.”