HK Democracy Activist Reports Being Assaulted

, the 18-year-old activist and student leader instrumental in last year’s Umbrella Movement protests, reported that he and his girlfriend were attacked on the street in the early morning hours of June 29. From the South China Morning Post’s Danny Mok and Lai Ying-kit:

Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung was grabbed by the neck and punched in the face by an unknown attacker in the early hours of this morning, while his girlfriend sustained minor injuries trying to shield him from the blows.

[…] Wong said that as he and Chin passed a man and woman aged in their 20s, the man launched an unprovoked attack.

“The man suddenly came [close]. He grabbed my neck, and punched my left eye. My glasses flew off,” Wong posted on Facebook alongside a photo showing injuries to the bridge of his nose, cheek and eyebrow.

Chin tried to shield Wong and video the attacker with her mobile phone, but was pushed to the ground, sustaining minor leg injuries.

The attacker and the woman ran away in different directions.

Wong and Chin were later taken to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for treatment. […] [Source]

The SCMP also notes that Scholarism, the educational autonomy group convened by Wong, has condemned the attack and said the group will not be intimidated by the politically motivated assault. This is the second time Wong has been assaulted: shortly after he was arrested by police—who he claims used excessive violence—and banned from entering Mong Kok during pro-democracy protests last November, he was pelted with eggs.

The New York Times’ reports Wong’s post-assault warning to fellow activists, and situates the attack into the context of increasing political tensions in semi-autonomous Hong Kong:

“Many of my fellow student activists — some of them are well-known — may now need to take extra caution for their safety when they go out,” he said.

The most recent attack underscores the continued political tension in the city amid slim hopes for swift change to the electoral system. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said that the next election for the city’s top leader, in 2017, would be conducted by the same method that brought him to office: through a vote by a committee of about 1,200 people, most of them pro-Beijing.

Albert Ho, a lawyer and a Democratic Party legislator who participated in the protests last fall, said that Hong Kong had become more divided after months of intense political fighting and that he had seen more animosity against democracy advocates. […] [Source]