Two pro-independence lawmakers arrested by Hong Kong police

Two pro-independence legislators were arrested by Hong Kong police on April 26. They were charged with unlawful assembly and attempted forcible entry into a compound.

Yau Wai-ching, 25, and Baggio Leung, 30, tried to barge into a Legislative Council meeting in November.

The two were released on bail. They told reporters they did not regret their actions.

Both lawmakers were democratically elected, but they were disqualified back in October for using language that offended the Chinese Communist Party and displaying a banner declaring “Hong Kong is not China.”

Their arrest comes after Hong Kong received a new chief executive, Carrie Lam, who is friendly with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders.

Hong Kong is still divided over issues of democracy, universal suffrage, and electoral reform. Many citizens want less CCP involvement in the governance of Hong Kong.

Tensions broke in 2014 with the Umbrella Movement, when Hong Kong students, professors, activists, and other citizens took to the streets in pro-democracy protests. This was in response to the CCP issuing a decision on electoral reform, requiring all chief executive candidates to be heavily vetted by it. The protests failed to yield a compromise.

Hong Kong, a city of 7.3 million people, used to be a British colony. It was handed over to Chinese Communist rule in 1997, though a “one country, two systems” arrangement was promised.