Pro-democracy lawmaker Lau Siu-lai was hit by a shoe during a recording of RTHK’s City Forum on Sunday. The attacker was wearing a blue hat associated with a pro-Beijing group, but the group has said the man is not a member.
During a break of the weekly current affairs programme, shot in Victoria Park, a man wearing a black t-shirt hurled the sports shoe at Lau. Lau was not hurt, and went to hospital to get checked after the programme.
The host So King-hang condemned the attack as the programme resumed, as RTHK staff members removed the man from the venue.
“During the break, someone who is believed to be a member of the Defend Hong Kong Campaign threw a shoe at lawmaker Lau Siu-lai,” So said. “I have condemned the incident during the break. We would not tolerate any kind of violence, including throwing caps, bottles and shoes, these are all unacceptable.”
Lau said: “I think we should report it to the police, instead of letting the man go. This is an assault. I hope the relevant departments take it seriously.”
The programme, entitled “A leader change won’t solve issues” discussed the recent developments in the Chief Executive race.
“What I said [during the programme] were very common arguments spoken everywhere, but why should we be attacked with a sports shoe because of our speeches?” Lau said. “I think many people will be in fear for their speeches.”
Blue caps are often worn by the pro-Beijing Defend Hong Kong Campaign, which recently organised rallies in opposition of two Youngspiration lawmakers who were deemed to have insulted China – but Lau was not one of the two.
“I should not be their target of attack, but some people are very irrational, we have to think deeply about who is stirring up trouble,” she added.
The programme has security checks for audience members. Lau said the shoe was one of the few heavier objects audience members can bring in.
Fu Chun-chung, the chairman of the Campaign, said in a statement that they only met the attacker last Wednesday at the rally at the Legislative Council. He said the man and the campaign shared the stance on opposing the two Youngspiration lawmakers, therefore he was given the blue cap as a gift.
“He never filled in our membership form, we do not have his personal details, he is not a member according to our charter,” Fu said.
Fu condemned Lau for claiming the man was the Campaign’s member, and said he will consider sending a lawyer’s letter to Lau for libel.
The police have classified the incident as assault. The case is being investigated by the Eastern regional crime unit, but it has yet to make an arrest.
Lau’s office said she will give statements to the police on Monday.