Thousands of people have protested in Hong Kong demanding direct elections for the post of Chief Executive.
All candidates for the vote in March currently have to be approved by an election committee largely made up of pro-Beijing figures.
The demonstrators also showed support for four pro-democracy lawmakers under threat of disqualification from a government-led judicial review.
“The four lawmakers who are facing disqualification. These people are elected by more than 100,000 voters, and yet the government’s nonsensical actions have stripped Hong Kong residents’ rights,” said one protester.
“People experiencing the government depriving their rights, but they don’t know how to resist. So I hope that in the future or in this demonstration we can get as much people as we can in order to express our utmost anger towards the behaviour of the government,” said lawmaker Nathan Law from the pro-democracy Demosisto group, and one of the four facing disqualification.
Hong Kong returned to China from Britain under a “one country, two systems” agreement ensuring freedoms and autonomy.
But many Hong Kong residents are concerned about increasing interference from Beijing.
Police said 4,800 people took part in the march demanding voting rights at the peak of the protest. Organisers put the figure at almost twice that number, saying as many as 9,150 had been present.
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