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Opposition lawmakers (L-R) Edward Yiu, Nathan Law, Leung Kwok-hung and Lau Siu-lai protest outside the High Court in Hong Kong, China July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip


HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's high court on Friday removed four opposition lawmakers from the city's legislative assembly after it invalidated their oaths of office.

The former British colony, which became a Chinese territory 20 years ago under a "one country, two systems" arrangement, is guaranteed a wide range of freedoms not enjoyed in China, including a direct vote for half of the 70-seat legislature.

But activists say the city government's efforts in disqualifying democratically elected lawmakers is a direct assault to those freedoms.

(Reporting by Venus Wu, William Ho, Pak Yiu, Jasper Ng and Doris Huang; Editing by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Robert Birsel)