Washington [US], November 3 (ANI): US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday said that arrest of the eight lawmakers in Hong Kong is a "clear abuse of law enforcement for political purposes".
While condemning the incident Pompeo also said that the Hong Kong government's "attempts to stifle dissent are stark examples of its ongoing complicity with the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party".
"The United States strongly condemns the arrests of eight pan-democratic politicians in Hong Kong, including five sitting members of the Legislative Council. The arrest of these lawmakers six months after the incident in question is a clear abuse of law enforcement for political purposes," he said.
He further said, "The Hong Kong government's harassment and intimidation of pro-democracy representatives and attempts to stifle dissent are stark examples of its ongoing complicity with the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party, which seeks to dismantle the promised autonomy of Hong Kong and eviscerate respect for human rights."
"We call on Beijing and the Hong Kong government to respect the right of the Hong Kong people to air their grievances through their elected representatives. The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong," he added.
Till Monday, in a fresh crackdown against anti-establishment leaders, the Hong Kong Police detained eight opposition activists, including five lawmakers, over a chaotic meeting in May that had descended into shouting and scuffles.
The eight opposition leaders -- Ted Hui, Wu Chi-wai, Helena Wong Pik-wan and Andrew Wan Siu-kin; Labour Party chairman Kwok Wing-kin; lawmaker Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung; and former lawmakers Eddie Chu Hoi-dick and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen.
The national security law imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong criminalises any act of secession (breaking away from China), subversion (undermining the power or authority of the central government), terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison. It came into effect from July 1. (ANI)