A group of protesters led by pro-democracy parties Demosistō and the League of Social Democrats marched to the Wan Chai Police Headquarters Wednesday afternoon, urging the police to investigate the attack on legislator Nathan Law at the Hong Kong airport on Sunday evening.
Law, along with three other activists and lawmakers, were attending a forum in Taiwan hosted by the New Power Party over the weekend. Upon their return, Law was assaulted and sprayed with a liquid by pro-China demonstrators at the airport.
A force ‘behind the scenes’
Outside the police headquarters, Law said that the attack was not an isolated incident, nor the result of a moment of rashness by individuals. He said it was also not a display of genuine patriotism: “There’s a lot of evidence to show that there’s a force lurking behind the scenes, manipulating these people, using either money or other things as bait, encouraging them to attack those belonging to the pro-democracy camp.”
Law said he believed this was an organised crime, and urged the police to investigate the matter from such a perspective. He also asked them to apprehend all the “patriotic” protesters that attacked individuals either during the incident or in the past, and to review whether measures at the airport are sufficient to protect the safety of citizens.
“I hope the protests convey the message that no matter what views you hold… no one should have to constantly look over their shoulders and worry about violent threats,” Law said. “The police and the government have a responsibility and duty to guarantee our safety.”
In response to pro-democracy lawmakers’ criticism on the airport arrangements, the police said that they told Demosistō that it was inappropriate for Law to meet the press at the airport, but their advice was ignored by the party.
The police on Tuesday arrested two men in connection with the attack. They are currently detained on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and illegal assembly. A third woman was arrested on Wednesday afternoon, RTHK reported.
The demonstrators also showed support towards several activists who were arrested in the early hours of Wednesday for alleged participation in an unlawful assembly last year.
They were sought by police after they demonstrated against an impending Basic Law interpretation by Beijing two months ago. Demosistō activist Joshua Wong questioned why members from the two parties who planned Wednesday’s protest over the airport assault became targets of arrests by the police before the demonstration could even take place.