Because of their involvement in a brawl in the Hong Kong parliament in May this year, the police of the Special Administrative Region has arrested three pro-democracy deputies. This was announced by the authorities. Four other MPs have been told to come to a police station later in the day.
The arrests of pro-democracy MPs are related to a chaotic parliamentary session. There had been a fight at the May meeting when pro-democracy MPs tried to stop a bill that would have allowed deliveries to mainland China for the first time. In the case of a conviction, MEPs face up to one year's imprisonment.
In video: The brawl in parliament in May
The extradition law was the original trigger for months of mass protests. Meanwhile, they generally oppose Hong Kong's pro-Chinese leadership and the curtailment of democratic freedoms.
"The protests that have been going on for five months are not yet over, but in cooperation with the police, the government is already starting massive arrests of pro-democracy parliamentarians," the arrested MPs said in a joint statement.
Policeman gives warning shot
The situation in Hong Kong had worsened this week after the death of a student injured in a demonstration became known. Thousands attended vigils for the late 22-year-old Alex Chow on Friday, while more protesters clashed with the police.
Once again protesters blocked roads, erected burning barricades and devastated subway stations. A critical scene occurred when a policeman fired a warning shot in front of a group of protesters who threw missiles at the officials.
Fears have recently surfaced in Hong Kong's spiral of violence that the district council elections in the Chinese Special Administrative Region could be postponed in two weeks.
For the first time since the return of the former British Crown Colony to China in 1997, pro-democracy candidates are also running in all constituencies. Since the summer, the number of voters who have registered for the vote has risen sharply.