Pro-democracy lawmakers have accused the Legislative Council’s (LegCo) security guards of rough treatment after a dozen were removed from a Q&A with Hong Kong’s leader.
After the session with Chief Executive Carrie Lam was cut short on Thursday, legislator Au Nok-hin attempted to chase after her. Au said a female security guard then tried to wrestle him to the ground. As a result, his left arm was injured and left bleeding.
“This is unacceptable – I am stripped of my right to protest,” he said. “There was no need for the security guard to do this.”
He said he would consider reporting the case to the police.
Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting also said he was shoved by security guards in an attempt to prevent him from protesting.
“I was conducting a peaceful protest. I only had a placard. LegCo security guards were acting like the government’s personal security, and Carrie Lam has more than ten guards to herself,” he said.
Lawmaker Claudia Mo said that four to five male guards used their arms to push away Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan.
“Even if [Chan] was not protesting, it would still be unacceptable for four to five men to surround a woman,” Mo said. “It would be very dangerous if she fell.”
Chan said disproportionate force was used with the intention to injure lawmakers.
Twelve democrats were removed from the LegCo chamber after repeatedly chanting slogans such as “five demands, not one less.”
As the city entered its 19th week of unrest, triggered by an ill-fated extradition bill, protesters have demanded accountability for alleged police brutality, amnesty for those arrested, universal suffrage and a halt to the characterisation of protests as “riots.”
‘Worst’ Q&A ever
Owing to protests inside the chamber, Lam only answered three questions from the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) lawmakers before the 90-minute session was cut short. In total, 17 lawmakers pressed their buttons to request to ask a question.
The Q&A session has been suspended after lawmakers argued over the role pan-democrats played in the storming of LegCo on July 1, with DAB legislator Leung Che-cheung claiming that some pro-democracy lawmakers facilitated protesters’ entry into the Complex. pic.twitter.com/wlkxtCZmJK
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) October 17, 2019
Gary Chan, one of the three lawmakers who had asked a question, said it was the worst Q&A session ever conducted: “The democratic lawmakers blocked, shouted and disrupted the session,” he said.
Ho Kai-ming, of the Federation of Trade Unions, said he was scheduled as the next lawmaker to ask a question. He said he wished to ask the government on how it intended to help the unemployed, but he was denied the opportunity to do so.
“It will be the Hong Kong people who suffer from [the democrats’ actions],” Ho said.
When pro-democracy lawmaker Charles Mok challenged LegCo President Andrew Leung over why only DAB lawmakers were selected to speak at the Q&A session, Leung said it was because they spoke fewer times in the past and were thus given priority in the Q&A session.
Lawmaker Priscilla Leung, of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, said that Mok should be familiar with the rules: “Maybe he wished to mislead the public,” she said.
Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.