Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

Joint checkpoint showdown: Head of legislature defends decision to call police after guards injured

Legislative Council President Andrew Leung has defended a decision to call the police to gather evidence after two security guards were injured during the final debate on the controversial joint checkpoint plan on Wednesday.

Five pro-democracy lawmakers were kicked out during the meeting, as security guards sought to remove some of them. Two guards and lawmakers Andrew Wan and Lam Cheuk-ting were treated in hospital for injuries.

Leung said the LegCo Commission – a body of lawmakers overseeing administrative matters – had earlier decided that the police would be called in if the legislature’s employees were injured.

Andrew Leung

Andrew Leung. Photo: LegCo.

Leung did not reveal which lawmaker was involved in causing an injury to the security guards. “But I do not wish to see anyone being hurt,” he said.

Lawmaker Claudia Mo said Leung’s decision was “ridiculous.” She said Wan was exercising his duties in his seat when he was blocked and surrounded by guards, and he should not have been removed in the first place.

The pro-democracy camp, as well as the Hong Kong Bar Association, have deemed the bill unconstitutional as Hong Kong is set to effectively give up its jurisdiction across a quarter of the West Kowloon terminus, where immigration and customs procedures will be performed by mainland law enforcement agents.

The pro-democracy camp will hold a protest rally on Thursday night. Leung said he expected the debate on the joint checkpoint arrangement will finish on Thursday.

‘Unfortunate incident’

Responding to the clashes on Wednesday, Wan said it was an unfortunate incident as they only demonstrated passive resistance and did not actively harm guards, whom he called “colleagues.”

Roy Kwong

Roy Kwong. Photo: Screenshot/inmediahk.net.

He said the clashes were caused by Leung’s unfair orders and thus he – and another injured lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting – would not call the police.

On Thursday, Wan, Au Nok-hin and Ted Hui –  two other lawmakers who were kicked out – attempted to enter the meeting chamber again but they were denied entry.

Following the changes to the Rules of Procedures last year, they argued that the second reading meeting on Wednesday – which they were kicked out of – was a separate meeting to the Thursday one debating amendments, as the quorum requirements were different.

“I believe Leung intentionally [barred us from the meeting],” Wan said.

Andrew Wan Lam Cheuk-ting

Andrew Wan and Lam Cheuk-ting. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Au said Leung refused to meet the five lawmakers who were kicked out citing “time constraints.”

Hui said they will consider filing judicial reviews against Leung’s decision to bar them.

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Joint checkpoint showdown: Head of legislature defends decision to call police after guards injured