DP member ‘kidnapped, tortured by mainland agents’
Democratic Party member Howard Lam shows reporters his injuries. Photo: RTHK
Howard Lam and former Democratic Party lawmaker Albert Ho show a signed photo of Lionel Messi that Lam was planning to send to Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia. Photo: RTHK
Timmy Sung reports
The Democratic Party says one of its members was kidnapped and tortured by suspected mainland agents in Hong Kong this week, possibly because he planned to send a signed photo of footballer Lionel Messi to the widow of Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo.
Howard Lam said he was abducted from Portland Street in Mong Kok on Thursday by up to five Mandarin-speaking men. He said he was bundled into a car and rendered unconscious with some kind of chemical.
Lam said when he came to, he was somewhere in the countryside and had been stripped down to his underpants. He said the men asked whether he knew Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, and warned him to drop his plan to send her a photo of Barcelona player Messi.
Lam earlier said he had been given the photo by the Spanish club and originally planned to send it to Liu Xiaobo before his death from liver cancer last month, because he knew Liu to be a big Messi fan.
Lam was flanked by Democratic Party lawmakers and other prominent figures from the pro-democracy camp at a press conference where he showed wounds to his thighs that he said were caused by a stapler.
He said his attackers told him that being as he was a Christian, they would use the stapler to give him his own crosses.
He said he was warned not to go to the police about the attack because “it was a national matter”.
The Democratic Party member said that after the staple attack he was again rendered unconscious and woke up after midnight to find himself on a beach in Sai Kung.
He said he was too scared to call the police and managed to walk to a road to catch a taxi.
Lam said he believed the attack was meant as a warning to all Hongkongers.
“They want to alert so many people if you don’t love your China government you may have the chance of something like this. They caught me and hit me,” Lam said.
Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting said the alleged incident was “outrageous”.
“It violates the Basic Law, the One Country, Two Systems principle. Kidnapping, threatening and torturing Hong Kong people is a very serious crime in Hong Kong, no matter their identity, whether they are from mainland authority or not,” the lawmaker said.
“I urge the Hong Kong government to conduct a thorough investigation.”
Howard Lam said he planned to go to a hospital on Friday to have his injuries treated and would be making a report to the police.