A mainland Chinese man turned himself in to police on Saturday after allegedly attacking a 19-year-old pro-democracy activist with a knife near the Lennon Wall in Tai Po in the New Territories.
It was the second attack on a pro-democracy advocate on the street in a week. The victim, surnamed Hung, was slashed in the abdomen and neck and was sent to Prince of Wales Hospital in Shatin. He was still in a serious condition as his abdomen has been cut open.
The 22-year-old suspect, a two-way permit holder from mainland China, was detained at the police station after turning himself in. Police classified the case as wounding.
At about 5:30pm on Saturday, Hung was attacked by a man with a knife inside the subway near Exit A of the Tai Po Market MTR Station, police said.
Hung was distributing leaflets about Sunday’s protest with friends near the “Lennon Wall” where colorful Post-it messages had information about the on-going protests in Hong Kong. A man dressed in black tore off some of the posters on the wall.
A police spokesperson later said Hung was attacked because the two had a “dispute.”
But a man surnamed Lee, said to be a friend of Hung who was distributing leaflets with him, said there had been no conflict before the knife attack, Radio Television Hong Kong reported.
“There was no conflict [before the stabbing]. I only saw him [the attacker] walking past once when I was giving out leaflets. He stood there saying something like ‘Hong Kong is part of China.’ Then he said – not sure who he was referring to – it is you guys turning Hong Kong into a mess.”
Hung was seriously injured, with his intestines protruding from his abdomen. Passers-by gave him first aid, attempting to stop the bleeding as he lay on the ground. He was conscious as he was taken to Prince of Wales Hospital.
Video footage showed people berating a man who appeared to be waving some kind of knife. People at the scene of the attack said the man left the area in a taxi.
It was the second time in a week that pro-democracy people had been attacked on the streets. Jimmy Sham Tze-kit, the convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, was attacked by people armed with hammers and knives in Kowloon’s Mong Kok last Wednesday night.
On Friday night, Hong Kong people gathered across the city to form a human chain – dubbed the “Hong Kong Way” – to defy the ban on face masks and express their anger over the attacks on pro-democracy people.
Thousands of protesters linked hands and wore various kinds of masks. Some covered their faces with the pictures of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the cartoon character Winnie the Pooh, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the Chief Commissioner Stephen Lo and many others.
In early October, the Hong Kong government invoked a colonial-era law and banned protesters from wearing face masks. Any person who violates the law could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to HK$25,000 (US$3,187).
On Sunday, tens of thousands of people, angry over the recent attacks on protesters, took to the streets despite a police ban and marched from Tsim Sha Tsui to West Kowloon station to express their opposition to the law, as well as to demand an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality.
In what has become a familiar pattern, the rally started peacefully but quickly descended into violence. Protesters vandalized shops, subway stations, there was arson, traffic lights were broken and roads were blocked with barricades. The police deployed water cannon trucks and sprayed blue dye at protesters, as well as firing rounds of tear gas to disperse the crowds.
At about 6pm in Prince Edward, police had to deploy a bomb disposal robot to detonate a suspected bomb on Lai Chi Kok Road. A cardboard box with wires protruding had been placed in the middle of the road.
Police immediately cordoned off the area before officers from the police explosive ordnance disposal bureau arrived at the scene. A bomb disposal robot was then deployed at what was thought to be a bomb. There was a loud bang when the suspected bomb was detonated by the robot.
Earlier in the afternoon, the police water cannon truck shot blue water along Nathan Road at protesters escaping from Tsim Sha Tsui to Mong Kok. Petrol bombs were thrown at the Tsim Sha Tsui and Sham Shui Po police stations.