'Our resistance will continue': Pro-democracy activists vow to fight China crackdown

'Our resistance will continue': Pro-democracy activists vow to fight China crackdown

The lead-up to the elections had been closely watched after a national security law that took effect in late June stipulated that candidates who violated the law would be barred from running. On Wednesday, she raised the prospect of postponing them because of s second wave of coronavirus, which, she said, threatened to overwhelm the territory's hospitals.

"This is a sleazy, contemptible political act to help thwart any victory on the part of the democrats in the original election", opposition lawmaker Claudia Mo told AFP, warning that public anger could explode.

"Today I announce the most hard decision in the last seven months.to postpone the Legislative Council election", Lam told reporters.

On Thursday, four opposition legislators and eight allied candidates, including activist Joshua Wong, received notice of their disqualification from the polls.

Eleven other pro-democracy candidates have been disqualified from running for the city's parliament.

Dressed in a black T-shirt emblazoned with the words "They can't kill us all", 23-year-old Wong slammed authorities for disqualifying some of the city's best-known democracy activists from standing in September's legislative elections.

In a letter to the chief executive on July 28, the chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission detailed the public health risks of holding the election as scheduled, pointing out that 3 million voters casting their ballots at polling stations across Hong Kong on the same day would create an "exponentially larger infection risk".

Examples given by authorities of unacceptable political views have included criticising the new security law, campaigning to win a legislation-blocking majority and refusing to recognise China's sovereignty.

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Around half of Hong Kong's almost 3,300 COVID-19 cases have been detected in the past month alone and authorities fear hospitals are on the verge of being overwhelmed.

"Hong Kong politics keeps changing", said Lee, according to AP.

The new law is seen as Beijing's attempt to curb dissent in the city, after months of pro-democracy and anti-government protests in Hong Kong past year. But lawyers and activists have said the law's vaguely-worded clauses could be used to silence dissidents and political opponents.

One provision bans "inciting hatred" towards the government.

The government said there could be more disqualifications.

Since it came into force, some political parties have disbanded while at least three prominent Beijing critics have fled overseas.

The State Department spokesperson also expressed concerns about the arrests of four students in Hong Kong on secession charges under the newly-implemented national security law on July 29. Over 8,000 people have been arrested in connection to the protests since June 2019.

The first arrests after the law was enacted were made against people who possessed pro-independence flags.

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