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Hong Kong is keeping prodemocracy candidates out of its election

HONG KONG — Weeks after the Chinese government imposed a new national security law on Hong Kong, raising fears of a broader crackdown on the semiautonomous territory, the city’s authorities have taken aggressive steps against the prodemocracy opposition.

Officials Thursday barred 12 candidates, including well-known prodemocracy figures, from the September legislative election. The disqualifications came a day after the police made what appeared to be the first targeted arrests of four activists accused of posting pro-independence messages online.

Local news outlets also reported that the government was considering postponing the election by as much as a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, although prodemocracy lawmakers argued it would be a naked attempt to avoid a loss at the polls.

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new york times