Protest In Hong Kong Over Activist’s Election Ban




Protesters in Hong Kong gathered outside the government’s headquarters Sunday evening after a leading pro-democracy activist was barred from standing as a candidate in upcoming elections.

The ban on 21-year-old Agnes Chow, who was at the forefront of mass 2014 Umbrella Movement rallies calling for political reform, is the latest blow for the democracy camp and another sign that Beijing is tightening its grip on the semi-autonomous city.

The government Saturday rejected Chow’s application to stand in a by-election in March because her party Demosisto supports self-determination for Hong Kong.

Chow was among leading activists, lawmakers, academics and students who addressed around 2,000 protesters packed onto pavements outside the government offices.

“The government is trying to get rid of all the political parties who are against them,” said Chow who was greeted with applause.

“But even though we are under pressure and are suppressed, we still insist on human rights and freedoms,” she added.

Co-founded by high-profile democracy activist Joshua Wong, Demosisto does not campaign for independence but advocates self-determination and a referendum for Hong Kong people to decide how they want to be governed.

The ban on Chow has wide-scale implications for other similar activists wanting to stand for office, including Wong, who is currently out on bail after being jailed for his role in the 2014 protests.



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