A prominent Chinese dissident has warned that Beijing is ‘determined’ to quell anti-government unrest in Hong Kong which has gone on for more than four months.
‘The Communist Party is determined to let blood flow in Hong Kong’, warned Wang Dan, one of the student leaders of a series of protests on Tiananmen Square in 1989, which saw Beijing sending troops and tanks into the capital to crush the pro-democracy movement.
He also urged the United States and President Trump to step in ‘as soon as possible’ and ‘save Hong Kong’.
Mr Wang, 50, made the comment after a leading activist in the financial hub was smashed on the head with iron hammers by a group of masked assailants in a horrific attack.
‘The Communist Party is determined to let blood flow in Hong Kong’, warned Wang Dan, one of the student leaders of a series of protests on Tiananmen Square in 1989. The 50-year-old (pictured in June) claimed that Beijing resolved to crack down on activists in the financial hub
The Tiananmen Square crackdown is immortalised by the above picture called the ‘Tank Man’, which shows a student holding bags of grocers standing in front of a row of tanks to protest at the clampdown by the armies against its own people. The picture was taken by AP photographer Jeff Widener from a sixth-floor balcony of the Beijing Hotel near Tiananmen
Jimmy Sham, a leading Hong Kong activist was left bloodied and lying on the street after allegedly being assaulted by an unidentified gang in Mong Kok district last night
Jimmy Sham, one of the public faces of Hong Kong’s protest movement, was left bloodied and lying on the street after allegedly being assaulted by an unidentified gang in Mong Kok district last night.
‘Some friends have advised Hong Kong protesters not to take violent measures. They said it would draw violence from the country,’ Mr Wang wrote on his Facebook account yesterday.
‘But Jimmy Sham had always promoted peaceful, sensible and non-violent (demonstrations), and had followed the principle again and again while organising rallies, but [he] still received the murder-like attack,’ he said.
Mr Wang and 25 other activists have called for help from the United States, urging the Senate to vote for a bill called the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, and US President Trump (pictured yesterday at the White House) to sign it off as law ‘as soon as possible’
In a joint statement released on Facebook, the activists also demanded Washington impose sanctions on Beijing for ‘tolerating violence and carrying out actions that violate human rights’
Police in Hong Kong have been accused of using excessive violence against protesters. Pictured, police arrest a demonstrator during a rally in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, on October 13
‘We must take actions as soon as possible to save Hong Kong,’ the post went on.
Another statement signed by Mr Wang and 25 other activists suggested the attack had been instigated by Chinese officials.
‘At least, violent actions as such are tolerated and indulged by Beijing’s government and Hong Kong’s government,’ said the statement which was also uploaded onto Facebook by Mr Wang.
The post labelled the assault on Mr Sham ‘state violence aimed to create terror’.
Sham, the head of Civil Human Rights Front, is seen being carried into an ambulance after allegedly being attacked by a group of hammer-wielding assailants in Hong Kong’s Kowloon
Mr Sham was on his way to an evening meeting when the four or five attackers pounced and smashed him with iron hammers, it is said. He was left with bloody head injuries but conscious
‘We must take actions as soon as possible to save Hong Kong,’ wrote pro-democracy activist Wang Dan. Mr Wang, then 20, is seen addressing fellow students during a demonstration on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in May, 1989. He was one of the most wanted men by Beijing
Mr Wang and the other activists called for help from the United States, urging the Senate to vote for a bill called the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, and US President Trump to sign it off as law ‘as soon as possible’.
They also demanded Washington impose sanctions on Beijing for ‘tolerating violence and carrying out actions that violate human rights’.
The bill, together with three pieces of China-related legislation, was passed unanimously this week by the U.S. House of Representatives as a showcase of a hard-line stand on Beijing.
The bill would require the US secretary of state to certify every year that Hong Kong retained its autonomy in order to keep receiving the special treatment that has allowed it to be a major financial center.
China has threatened ‘effective retaliation’ against Washington and condemned American lawmakers’ ‘evil intentions’ over the passage of the bill.
Mr Sham, 32, is the head of Civil Human Rights Front, which has organised large demonstrations in the semi-autonomous city since the beginning of June.
The group first reported Mr Sham being assaulted through its Facebook account.
It suggested the assault was politically motivated, linked ‘to a spreading political terror in order to threaten and inhibit the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights’.
Rights group Amnesty International said the ‘horrifying attack’ would send a chilling signal and urged authorities to investigate. Police said they would.
Hong Kong has been rocked by a series of anti-government protests for nearly four months. The demonstrations were initially sparked by a proposed law that would allow some criminal suspects to be sent to the mainland China to stand trial. Pictured, police fire tear gas to disperse demonstrators during a rally on October 1, which is the country’s National Day
Hong Kong is ruled under the ‘one country, two system’ policy and has different legal and governing systems to mainland China, but many residents in the city feel that their freedoms are eroding due to the tight political grip of Beijing. Pictured, riot police officers pour water over a protester as he is detained during a protest in Mong Kok district on October 7
The extradition bill was suspended indefinitely by the government in June, but the rallies have morphed into a wider pro-democracy movement that calls for government reforms and universal suffrage, among others. Pictured, protesters react after police fired tear gas in the Mong Kok district during clashed on October 1
Mr Sham was attacked in the gritty Mong Kok district by five men with knives and hammers. Photographs on social media show him lying sprawled on the ground, bleeding from his head.
The activist was said to suffer three wounds to the head as well as swollen knees and elbows.
From hospital Mr Sham urged people not to seek revenge.
‘Regardless of the identity, ethnicity, skin colour of the perpetrators, the root of the problem is the violence of the regime and the political system,’ he said in a statement.
Police said they believed the attackers were not Chinese, but did not elaborate.
‘No matter how difficult the situation on Sunday might be, everyone please take care and be safe,’ said Mr Sham.
A lawmaker shouts at Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam during a Legislative Council meeting regarding her policy address in Hong Kong on Thursday. The city’s parliament has been plunged into turmoil for two days in a row due to protests from pro-democracy politicians
A pro-democracy lawmaker is escorted by security from the Legislative Council on Thursday as chief executive Lam takes questions from lawmakers regarding her policy address
Hong Kong’s parliament descended into chaos again today with lawmakers dragged out by security guards for heckling leader Carrie Lam when they demanded an inquiry into the attack on Mr Sham.
The attack was designed to intimidate protesters and incite violence ahead of a planned march on Sunday, pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo told reporters.
‘This very vicious attack took place practically on the eve of the call for yet another massive protest in Hong Kong on Sunday. We can’t help feeling that this entire thing is part of a plan to shed blood on Hong Kong’s peaceful protests,’ she said.
Lam was forced to cut short her annual policy speech on Wednesday due to heckling, and broadcast it via video instead. She is pictures speaking in Legislative Council today
The city’s Legislative Council has been plunged into turmoil two days in a row.
Lam was forced to cut short her annual policy speech on Wednesday due to heckling, and broadcast it via video instead.
The chaos underscore the political rift in the city, with no end in sight to more than four months of anti-government protests.
‘Regarding the current situation we are facing, we need to be united against violence, say no to violence,’ Lam said in the chamber and again defended her efforts to end the crisis.
‘I have mentioned that we will be humble, listen to different voices and set up an expert commission to find a way out of the current situation we are facing,’ she said.