Man bites off part of Hong Kong pro-democracy politician’s ear, slashes others
search

Man bites off part of Hong Kong pro-democracy politician’s ear, slashes others

Local media reports attacker told his victims that Hong Kong belongs to China; district councilor attacked after trying to stop suspect leaving scene of stabbings

District councilor Andrew Chiu receives medical treatment in Hong Kong, on Nov. 3, 2019 (Elson Li/HK01 via AP)
District councilor Andrew Chiu receives medical treatment in Hong Kong, on Nov. 3, 2019 (Elson Li/HK01 via AP)

HONG KONG (AP) — A knife-wielding man slashed several people and bit off part of the ear of a pro-democracy politician in Hong Kong on Sunday, as riot police stormed several malls to thwart protesters who have been demanding government reforms for nearly five months.

The bloody attack erupted outside one of those shopping complexes, Cityplaza on Hong Kong Island. Local media said the attacker told his victims that Hong Kong belongs to China.

Television footage showed the man biting the ear of district councilor Andrew Chiu, who had tried to stop him from leaving after the stabbings. The attacker was then badly beaten up by a crowd before police arrived.

The government, condemning the attack, said five people were hospitalized including two in critical condition and appealed to people to stay rational and set aside their political differences. “They should abide by the law and not to resort to vigilantism,” a government spokesman said in a statement.

A riot police fires pepper spray toward people at a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Nov. 3, 2019 (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

The attack came late Sunday, a day in which protesters had been urged online to gather at seven locations, including malls, to sustain a push for political reform.

Most of the rallies didn’t pan out as scores of riot police took positions, searching and arresting people, dispersing crowds and blocking access to a park next to the office of the city’s leader, Carrie Lam.

Some small pockets of hardcore demonstrators were undeterred.

As protesters chanted slogans at the New Town Plaza shopping mall in Sha Tin, police said they moved in after some “masked rioters” with fire extinguishers vandalized turnstiles and smashed windows at the subway station linked to the mall.

At two malls in the New Territories in the north, protesters vandalized shops, threw paint and attacked a branch of Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya, which has been frequently targeted after the chain’s owner voiced support for the Hong Kong police.

Police rushed into one of the malls after objects were thrown at them. At another, protesters used umbrellas and cable ties to lock the mall entrance to prevent police from entering.

People shout slogans as they hold posters during a rally at a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Nov. 4, 2019 (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Later in the day, police stormed Cityplaza after some protesters sprayed graffiti at a restaurant. A human chain by dozens of people was broken up and angry shoppers heckled the police.

In early hours Monday, police fired tear gas after some protesters threw bricks and other objects at them in another district. One woman was injured after she reportedly jumped off a balcony to escape the tear gas, local media said.

The protests began in early June over a now-shelved plan to allow extraditions to mainland China but have since swelled into a movement seeking other demands, including direct elections for Hong Kong’s leaders and an independent inquiry into police conduct.

Lam has refused to budge and instead has focused on measures that she said contributed to protesters’ anger, such as creating jobs and easing housing woes in one of the world’s most expensive cities. She invoked emergency powers last month to ban face masks at rallies, provoking further anger.

Her office said Sunday that Lam, currently in Shanghai, will head to Beijing on Tuesday. She is due to hold talks Wednesday with Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng and join a meeting on the development of the Greater Bay Area that aims to link Hong Kong, Macao and nine other cities in southern China.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a press conference in Hong Kong, Oct. 29, 2019 (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

The project will help make it easier for Hong Kong residents to work and reside in mainland Chinese cities, and bolster the flow of people and goods, Lam’s office said in a statement.

But the plan has also sparked concerns over China’s growing influence over the territory. Many protesters fear Beijing is slowly infringing on the freedoms guaranteed to Hong Kong when the former British colony returned to Chinese control in 1997.

On Saturday, protesters attacked the Hong Kong office of China’s state-owned Xinhua News Agency in a show of anger against Beijing, a day after China warned of tightening its grip on the city to quell the unrest.

Xinhua in a statement strongly condemned the “barbaric acts of mobs” that had vandalized and set fire to the lobby of its Asia-Pacific office building. The Hong Kong Journalists Association also deplored “any act of sabotage against the media” and called for an end to violence against the press.

Protesters have frequently targeted Chinese banks and businesses. In July, demonstrators threw eggs at China’s liaison office in Hong Kong and defaced the Chinese national emblem in a move slammed by Beijing as a direct challenge to its authority.

On Friday, the Communist Party in Beijing vowed to “establish and strengthen a legal system and enforcement mechanism” to prevent foreign powers from sowing acts of “separatism, subversion, infiltration and sabotage” in Hong Kong.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments