(TIME) A court in Hong Kong has ruled that four pro-democracy lawmakers are to lose their seats in the territory's Legislative Council over the manner in which they took their oaths of office when they were sworn in, a fate that befell two of their colleagues last year.
If you'd been surfing the Chinese Internet Friday, you might have read about Chinese President Xi Jinping extolling the virtues of free trade in his Thursday meeting with the Canadian Governor-General. You might also have read about the bride in the coastal city of Qingdao who drove a bus to her own wedding. And you would surely have seen at least a handful of funny panda videos. What you would not have read about is the death in Chinese custody of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo.
Four pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong have been disqualified from their posts for failing to take their oaths properly, a court ruled Friday. That effectively changes the balance of power in the entire legislature, according to Antony Dapiran, a Hong Kong-based lawyer and author who's just written a book about dissent in the city. "It's pretty bad for rule of law in Hong Kong when you see the courts being used to kick out democratic lawmakers like this," Dapiran told CNN. "Hong Kong can no longer pretend to (be) any kind of democracy."
(USA Today) In a blow to the pro-democracy movement, four opposition lawmakers were disqualified from Hong Kong’s parliament Friday over charges that they did not take their swearing-in oaths seriously. “[The court ruling] will declaw and decimate the opposition bloc,” said Jason Y. Ng, a Hong Kong lawyer, Progressive Lawyers Group member, author and social activist.