Hong Kong democracy activist injured in knife attack

A 19-year-old man was severely hurt after being slashed in the neck and abdomen in Tai Po district in Hong Kong yesterday. PHOTO: RTHK VNEWS
A 19-year-old man was severely hurt after being slashed in the neck and abdomen in Tai Po district in Hong Kong yesterday. PHOTO: RTHK VNEWS

HONG KONG • A man handing out leaflets for a Hong Kong pro-democracy protest was yesterday attacked by a knife-wielding assailant who slashed his neck and abdomen, days after a leading activist was left bloodied in another attack.

The injured 19-year-old, wearing black clothes and a black face mask, was knifed yesterday afternoon near one of the large Lennon Walls in the north-eastern Tai Po district, police said.

Local media images showed the man severely injured, with his inner organs visible where his abdomen had been cut.

Video footage posted on social media showed another man, shortly after the attack, holding a knife and shouting: "Hong Kong is part of China... (You) messed up Hong Kong".

Police confirmed a 22-year-old man has been arrested.

The victim was conscious when he was rushed to the hospital.

The victim's friend told media at the scene: "The man suddenly rushed to my friend and slashed (him) in the neck... After that, he fell down and was stabbed in the abdomen with a knife."

Lennon Walls, plastered with colourful sticky notes, posters and slogans, have appeared in more than a hundred locations around Hong Kong during recent months.

Though the walls are seen as a peaceful form of protest, they have become flashpoints for violence.

Last Wednesday, Mr Jimmy Sham - a leading face of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement - was taken to the hospital covered in blood after being attacked with hammers by unidentified thugs.

The Civil Human Rights Front, which Mr Sham leads, had applied for permission to hold a peaceful rally today, calling for an independent inquiry into police brutality and universal suffrage, but their request was rejected by the police.

Despite the ban, the march is still expected to take place.

Campaigner Leung Kwok Hung said yesterday: "We urge the Hong Kong people to... assemble peacefully, march peacefully, in order to show the whole world we are still eager for the five demands."

Hong Kong's more than four months of huge and increasingly violent protests were initially sparked by a now-scrapped Bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, as well as Taiwan and Macau.

The case of a Hong Kong man accused of murdering his girlfriend in Taiwan before fleeing back to Hong Kong was held up as an example that such a Bill was needed.

Late last Friday, the man, Chan Tong Kai, who has been jailed for 18 months in Hong Kong for money laundering over the use of the woman's cash and property, wrote to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, saying he would "surrender himself to Taiwan" upon his release, which could be as soon as this week. Chan is wanted in Taiwan for allegedly killing his pregnant girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing in Taipei in February last year.

Mrs Lam said in an interview yesterday with broadcaster RTHK that this was a relief, as it could bring an end to the case. She also said that the police had used appropriate force in handling the protests.

More than 2,600 people have been arrested since the protests escalated in June.

Mrs Lam last week rejected two of the protesters' five core demands: universal suffrage and amnesty for those charged during the demonstrations, saying the latter would be illegal and the former was beyond her power.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 20, 2019, with the headline 'Hong Kong democracy activist injured in knife attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe