Hong Kong lawmaker charged for upending Chinese flag

Cheng Chung-tai upended small China and Hong Kong flags that some pro-Beijing legislators had displayed on their desks. (AFP)
Updated 12 April 2017

Hong Kong lawmaker charged for upending Chinese flag

Hong Kong: A Hong Kong lawmaker was arrested Wednesday for “desecrating” the Chinese and Hong Kong flags by turning them upside down in parliament, in charges he said were designed to suppress anti-Beijing sentiment.
Cheng Chung-tai upended small China and Hong Kong flags that some pro-Beijing legislators had displayed on their desks in the legislative assembly last October.
The incident happened in a feisty session where two pro-independence lawmakers were barred from taking up their seats in a row over the oath-taking ceremony.
Under Hong Kong law, it is an offense to desecrate national and regional flags by “publicly and wilfully burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling or trampling on them.”
“The clear and obvious goal is to eliminate dissent” before the city’s newly elected pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam takes office in July, Cheng told reporters after he was bailed.
He said that Hong Kong was facing a “massive purge” against pro-democracy voices.
The city was handed back to China by colonial ruler Britain in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula.
But there are concerns China is interfering in the semi-autonomous city, eroding its freedoms and way of life.
Some activists have angered Beijing by calling for greater autonomy or even independence for Hong Kong, with some jailed or awaiting trial over anti-China clashes.
A protester was jailed for more than four years Monday for rioting and arson during a 2016 protest known as the Fishball Revolution, where police fired warning shots and demonstrators hurled bricks torn up from pavements.
Three other activists had been jailed for three years on riot charges for their role in the same protest.
Other prominent activists were arrested late last month over 2014’s Umbrella Movement, which saw tens of thousands occupy the city’s streets for 79 days in an unsuccessful campaign for election reform.


Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

Updated 23 February 2020

Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

  • Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it
  • The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India

NEW DELHI: Police used tear gas to disperse large crowds in India’s capital of New Delhi on Sunday in the latest eruption of violence at protests over a new citizenship law, police officials said.
Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it, with the two groups pelting each other with stones in the Maujpur area in the northeastern part of the city, according to television footage.
“There must be some miscreants who want to spoil the peace in the area. We will identify them and take action against them,” Alok Kumar, a senior Delhi police official, told reporters about the protest.
“The situation is under control now,” he added.
The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India, where he is expected to raise the issue of religious freedom in the country with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, which eases the path for non-Muslims from neighboring Muslim-majority nations to gain citizenship, has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests against Modi’s government.
The Indian law is seen by opponents as discriminating against Muslims and has deepened concerns that Modi’s administration is undermining India’s secular traditions.
Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party denies any bias against the country’s 180 million Muslims.
On Sunday, a separate protest also erupted in the northern Indian city of Aligarh, where protesters threw stones at the police, state administration official Chandra Bhushan Singh said.
The Internet in the area had been suspended until midnight, he added.