Two pro-democracy District Council election candidates – Osman Cheng and Man Nim-chi – have been charged following their arrests at a peaceful protest on Saturday.
Cheng and Man were charged with unlawful assembly and obstruction of police. Richard Chan was also arrested for unlawful assembly, but remains in hospital after he was tackled and pepper-sprayed by police.
The candidates said they were conducting an election meeting ahead of the District Council election on November 24. However, all three were arrested in Causeway Bay’s Victoria Park as demonstrators gathered.
Election meetings under 50 people do not require candidates to seek police permission. Over 100 pro-democracy candidates gathered at the park to hold a rally.
The election meeting came after police banned a pro-democracy protest rally at the same location. Officers used tear gas to clear the venue – a traditional site of peaceful demonstration in Hong Kong.
During the clearance, Chan was pepper-sprayed in his face after he was subdued by officers.
Their cases were mentioned at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on Monday afternoon.
Osman Cheng is running in the On Tai constituency in Sha Tin. Chiu Man-leong and Leroy Tong are also running. Man Nim-chi is running in Chung Ting constituency in Tai Po where Eric Tam is also a contender. And Richard Chan is running in Lam Tsuen Valley constituency in Tai Po against Chan Cho-leung.
Hong Kong has now entered into its 22nd weekend of protest and unrest, which was sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have enabled fugitive transfers to mainland China.
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