A student intern at Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki’s office – who was a former assistant to ousted lawmaker Yau Wai-ching – has been told he is barred from entering the legislature because an order to bar Yau’s former assistants is still in place.

Wilson Li, 21, was an associate degree student at the City University of Hong Kong’s public administration and management programme. He has to finish a student internship at a lawmaker’s office assigned by the school in order to complete his studies. Li was supposed to start the internship on Tuesday at the Legislative Council Complex in Admiralty.

Wilson Li at the Scottish Parliament. Photo: Handout.

The legislature barred 13 assistants of ousted lawmaker Yau and Baggio Leung in November 2016 after the duo and some of the assistants tried to barge into a meeting room following Legislative Council President Andrew Leung’s decision to bar them from attending meetings. Li did not participate in the action.

At the time, Yau and Leung faced a judicial review legal challenge filed by the government contesting the validity of their oaths of office as lawmakers. Last week, the duo and three assistants were jailed for four weeks over their actions.

Kwok told HKFP that he does not screen the identities of his student interns before they joined. However, he said the legislature’s secretariat told him on Tuesday that Li was still barred from the LegCo building when he arrived to work at his office.

‘Fight for justice’

Kwok said that the secretariat asked him to request that Li leave. But Kwok replied that Li was working and he should not be forced to leave immediately.

Kwok said that he will write to the LegCo Commission – a body formed of lawmakers to oversee administrative matters – to seek an explanation over how many members of the public were barred from the building. He will also urge for a lifting of the ban.

“The incident occurred in 2016, and it’s now 2018 – why is the ban still in place?” he said. “I have a responsibility to fight for justice for them.”

Kwok said Li will continue working at his district offices.

Wilson Li’s temporary LegCo pass on June 12. Photo: Handout.

Li said he was very disappointed that he was still barred after a year and a half.

“I have been to many legislatures in foreign countries in the meantime – it is very ironic that I can’t enter my own legislature,” he told HKFP.

In response, the LegCo secretariat said the 13 people will be barred until further notice, in accordance with the LegCo Commission’s decision on November 8, 2016.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.