Hong Kong: Hecklers dragged out in new parliament chaos

77

Opposition protesters in parliamentImage copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Some parliamentarians were dragged out by security staff

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam has been heckled by opposition lawmakers for a second day as she tried to answer questions in parliament.

After shouting and holding up placards, 11 opposition members were removed from the session by security guards.

On Wednesday, Ms Lam was forced to suspend her annual policy address after she was interrupted by the opposition.

Hong Kong has seen months of mass protests against the government, sparked by a proposed extradition law.

The opposition forms a small minority in the Legislative Council (Legco) but managed to repeatedly interrupt Ms Lam, forcing the session to be adjourned several times.

Some of the ejected lawmakers were holding white flowers to express solidarity with people injured during months of demonstrations.

As they were dragged out, they shouted: “Carrie Lam you should not stay on as chief executive! You are not qualified.”

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Opposition lawmakers suggested Ms Lam had blood on her hands

What are the Hong Kong protests about?

Initially a protest against an extradition law, the demonstrations have grown to demand full democracy.

A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997, but under a “one country two systems” principle. That means it has more freedoms and rights than the mainland.

The city’s leadership, however, is not democratically elected – and Carrie Lam is seen as part of the pro-Beijing political establishment.

Many in Hong Kong fear that Beijing’s growing influence is gradually eroding the territory’s freedoms.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionWatch the moment chaos erupts in Hong Kong parliament on Wednesday

The protests started in June against plans to allow extradition to the mainland. In September, the government promised the bill would be withdrawn once parliament resumed, but demonstrations continued.

Demands have since widened into five key demands:

  • Don’t characterise the protests as “riots”
  • Amnesty for arrested activists
  • An independent inquiry into alleged police brutality
  • Implementation of complete universal suffrage
  • Withdrawal of the extradition bill

Clashes between police and activists have become increasingly violent, with police firing live bullets and protesters attacking officers and throwing petrol bombs.

On Wednesday evening, the leader of one of Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy groups was taken to hospital after being attacked.

Photographs on social media showed Jimmy Sham of the Civil Human Rights Front lying in the street, covered in blood.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here