Disqualified separatist Hong Kong lawmakers lose appeal

HONG KONG (AP) — Two separatist Hong Kong lawmakers have lost an appeal against a ruling disqualifying them from office because they altered their oaths with an anti-China insult.

The Court of Appeal on Wednesday sided with a judgment earlier this month barring Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching of the Youngspiration Party from office.

It agreed with the High Court’s decision two weeks ago that the pair effectively declined to take the oath, violating the semiautonomous Chinese city’s Basic Law constitution.

The three-member panel also said its ruling was backed up by Beijing’s own controversial interpretation of the Basic Law.

In an act of defiance, Leung and Yau used a derogatory term for China during their swearing-in ceremonies last month. They also displayed a flag that said “Hong Kong is not China.”