Protest organiser assaulted by men wielding hammers

Prominent activist Jimmy Sham after the assault, in a picture widely shared on social media.
Prominent activist Jimmy Sham after the assault, in a picture widely shared on social media.PHOTO: TANG.EARTHQUAKE/FACEBOOK

HONG KONG • A prominent Hong Kong activist and convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), which has organised many of the city's large peaceful protests, was assaulted yesterday evening, the group's spokesman said.

Mr Jimmy Sham was attacked by four to five men wielding hammers while on his way to a meeting in the Mong Kok area of Kowloon, CHRF spokesman Rayne Yuen said in a statement.

Mr Sham was bleeding from the head but conscious at the hospital, where he sought treatment. It is the second assault on Mr Sham, who was also attacked in August.

"The Civil Human Rights Front strongly condemns the acts of the perpetrators," it said in a statement. "It is not hard to link this incident to a spreading political terror in order to threaten and inhibit the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights."

A spokesman for the Hong Kong Police Public Relations Branch said it had received a report about a person who was attacked and injured in Mong Kok and was investigating, but did not disclose the identity of the victim.

The unrest in Hong Kong has been going on for more than four months, with the police force using tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse crowds, while protesters have lobbed Molotov cocktails, and this week set off a homemade bomb.

Protests have grown increasingly violent since Chief Executive Carrie Lam invoked an emergency law earlier this month banning protesters from wearing face masks.

Mr Sham, who is planning to run in the district council elections next month, was attacked in August by two masked men with a baseball bat and a knife.

Prior to the latest incident, the CHRF had planned a protest on Sunday in Kowloon.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2019, with the headline 'Protest organiser assaulted by men wielding hammers'. Print Edition | Subscribe