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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Radio Free Asia

Hong Kong Reels in Wake of Stabbing Attack on Protesters, Police Torture Video

2019-08-20 -- Hong Kong was reeling on Tuesday following a knife attack by a pro-police thug on two anti-extradition protesters and a former journalist.

The blue-shirted attacker slashed and stabbed three people at an anti-extradition "Lennon Wall" in a pedestrian tunnel in Tseung Kwan O district late on Monday, leaving a 26-year-old woman surnamed Wong, who recently resigned from her job as a reporter at Hong Kong's Chinese-language Economic Journal in intensive care, the paper said in an online news report.

A 25-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman were sent to the local hospital for stab and slash wounds inflicted in the attack. The man has since been discharged, while the woman in is a stable condition, it said.

"This newspaper condemns any form of violence, and is distressed at the serious injuries suffered by one of its colleagues," the paper said.

A knife was left at the crime scene, while a second weapon was also found in a nearby trash can, the report said, but it hadn't yet been linked to the attack.

"Police believe that the attacker discarded his blue shirt and other clothing, before putting on a red shirt to make his escape," the paper reported.

Meanwhile, surveillance camera footage has emerged of two uniformed police officers assaulting an elderly man on a hospital gurney.

In the video, which was widely shared on social media, the officers torture the man while he lies prone on the gurney, assaulting his abdomen, genital area and head with fists and batons.

Family members told journalists that the victim -- who is in his sixties -- lost control of his bladder during the assault and was told to "drink your own piss" by one officer after they removed his clothing.

"Why did they torture and abuse him in such a skillful manner? They even put on gloves at the outset, which made it seem premeditated," the man's son said.

"I can only hope that anyone breaking the law, including the police, will be subjected to the usual sanctions," he said.

Torture, inappropriate conduct

Lam Cheuk-ting said the incident was particularly shocking given that the man was restrained by all four limbs and had been drinking heavily.

"These officers tortured him, beating and humiliating him, which is an extremely serious abuse of their power," Lam said. "It would be appropriate for them to be prosecuted not just for torture, but for inappropriate conduct in public office."

Torture is defined in Hong Kong law as the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering on another in the course of carrying out official duties. It carries a potential life sentence.

The officers in the video were only arrested after the video was posted online by pro-democracy lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting.

Asked why police waited until now to make an arrest linked to the attack, a police spokesman said they were unaware that the footage existed.

Nathan Law, a former lawmaker and leader of the 2014 pro-democracy movement currently studying in the United States, said he had reported a torrent of online threats and abuse to the local authorities.

"I've been receiving numerous threats to my personal safety, including messages about murdering me or going after me at Yale, etc. I don't know where these messages come from but am deeply troubled," Law wrote via his Twitter account.

"These sickening individuals have not deterred my support of the pro-democracy resistance in Hong Kong," he said. "I've already informed my school and the local police department, both of which are worried and monitoring my situation."

The threats against Law come after a wave of increasingly aggressive pro-China protests have mushroomed on university campuses around the world, with some pro Beijing protesters reportedly attacking and intimidating supporters of the Hong Kong anti-extradition movement.

Coordinated inauthentic behavior

Facebook and Twitter both said they had taken steps to remove advertisements smearing anti-extradition protesters on their platforms, citing strong evidence that they were placed by a state actor, namely the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

"Today, we removed seven Pages, three Groups and five Facebook accounts involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a small network that originated in China and focused on Hong Kong," Facebook said in a news release.

"The individuals behind this campaign engaged in a number of deceptive tactics, including the use of fake accounts – some of which had been already disabled by our automated systems – to manage Pages posing as news organizations, post in Groups, disseminate their content, and also drive people to off-platform news sites," it said.

"Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the Chinese government," it said.

The groups and pages had been followed by at least 15,500 accounts prior to being removed, it said.

Twitter said it had uncovered "a significant state-backed information operation focused on the situation in Hong Kong, specifically the protest movement and their calls for political change."

It said some 936 accounts originating from within the People's Republic of China (PRC) were "deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground."

"We have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation," the company said on its official blog. "All the accounts have been suspended for a range of violations of our platform manipulation policies."

Reported by Lau Siu-fung, Ng Yik-tung and Wen Yuqing for RFA's Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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