Four Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers disqualified

Hong Kong (AP) –Four pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong were disqualified from their seats in the territory’s legislature on Friday.

A judge ruled that the oath taken by lawmakers Leung Kwok-hung, Lau Siu-lai, Nathan Law and Edward Yiu at their swearing-in ceremony, which deviated from the prescribed one, disqualified them from the assembly.

The legal challenge was filed by the government in December 2016, after the authority won the bid to strip two other pro-independence lawmakers, Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching, of their seats, after Beijing interpreted the Basic Law, the mini constitution document of Hong Kong.

The four lawmakers put their own spin on their oaths in various ways during the Oct. 12, 2016, ceremony. Nathan Law, a student activist who helped lead massive 2014 pro-democracy street protests, raised his tone when he came to mention the People’s Republic of China, making the words sound like a question.

Veteran activist Leung Kwok-hung held up a yellow umbrella, a symbol of the street protests. Lau Siu-lai, a college lecturer who was also active in those protests, read her pledge in slow motion in an attempt to make it meaningless, while Edward Yiu, a university professor, added phrases about democracy.

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