‘Barbaric behavior beyond the line’: HK justice secretary sustains arm injury as angry mob attacks her in London (VIDEO)
Dozens of supporters of the Hong Kong anti-government protest ganged up on a visiting member of the city’s government while she was visiting London to promote a Chinese business hub as a venue for conflict resolution.
Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, who serves as Hong Kong’s justice secretary, was surrounded by an angry mob on Thursday night. The protesters shouted, calling her a ‘murderer’ while pointing strobe flashlights and laser pointers at her face as the official tried to escape, footage of the incident showed.
At one point, Cheng fell to the ground as she was chased by the protesters, although it is unclear whether she was pushed or tripped by accident. She injured her arm in the fall, according to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, which was hosting the event that the Hong Kong secretary was about to attend when she was intercepted by the crowd.
Cheng is the top legal adviser to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and is perceived as a key figure behind the now-scrapped extradition bill, which served as the focal point of anti-government protests when it started in June.
Lam condemned the incident in London. “The barbaric behavior got beyond the line of a civic society, it should be strongly condemned,” she said in a statement. The city government said Cheng suffered “serious bodily harm” in the altercation. The Chinese Embassy in the UK said the incident showed that the “violent and lawless perpetrators” behind the protests were now affecting other nations.
Mass anti-government protests in Hong Kong have had a strong violent component. The more radical groups of activists have been vandalizing city property, attacking businesses they consider loyal to Beijing, disrupting traffic with barricades, and otherwise causing economic damage throughout the city.
There were also numerous incidents in which people who disagree with their cause have been be harassed and harmed. One of the more extreme incidents of this kind happened on Monday, when a man was doused with an accelerant and set on fire during a verbal argument with the protesters.
This month has marked a noticeable escalation of violence in Hong Kong with at least two deaths linked to the stand-off. Last Friday, a student protester died from a head injury he received after falling from a parking lot amid a demonstration. An elderly street cleaner was hit in the head by a brick apparently thrown by one of the protesters and died in hospital on Thursday. The week was also remarkable for protests happening each day as opposed to on weekends only, which had previously been the case.
The protesters say they want a democratic change in the former British colony and accuse the central government in Beijing of encroaching on the city’s autonomy. They hope other nations like the US and the UK can intervene on their behalf and put pressure on China. Beijing has been reluctant to use its mainland police force to tackle the situation, but has been vocally criticizing some foreign governments, saying they have been fueling the violent protests in Hong Kong.
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