22 March 2018

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08/11/2017 HONG KONG – CHINA

Hong Kong activist 'tortured' by Chinese agents for sending a postcard signed by Lionel Messi

Howard Lam was kidnapped and beaten, with staples punched into his legs. The attack is similar to an incident in which five Hong Kong publishers and booksellers were held for months in police custody in China. The Democratic Party continues its campaign to get the release of Liu Xia, Lui Xiaobo’s wife, who was left to die a month ago by Chinese authorities.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Howard Lam Tsz-kin, a Democratic Party activist, today said that he was abducted yesterday in Yau Ma Tei by some mainlanders, blindfolded, beaten, and tortured with staples punched into his legs, and finally left unconscious on a beach in Sai Kung.

The activist said he was subjected to this treatment because he wanted to send a postcard signed by player Lionel Messi to Liu Xia, the wife of the great dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was left to die cancer in jail on 13 July. For Liu Xiaobo, Lionel Messi was the greatest football player.

At a press conference this morning, Lam explained that he had spoken of his plan with a Chinese acquaintance who warned him not to do it. His kidnappers apparently told him that he had to pay for ignoring that warning. Although politically motivated, the attack appears to be the work of thugs.

In Hong Kong, many pro-democracy groups continue to campaign for Li Xia’s release. She has been missing since her husband’s death.

Lam’s torture seems to be designed to sow fear in Hong Kong. The attack is similar to an incident involving five publishers and booksellers who were kidnapped more than a year ago and held in police custody in mainland China for months, for daring to publish critical books of China’s leaders.

Lam said that his kidnappers accused him of “not loving Hong Kong and China”. He showed reporters his legs with the 20 staples, all in the shape of a cross. One of his attackers asked him: “Are you a Christian? Do you know how to love the country and the religion? . . . I’ll give you some crosses".

Other members of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party believe some powerful figure in China might be behind the attack (perhaps enemies of Xi Jinping, who visited Hong Kong on 1 July).

They went on to say that they would not stop asking for Liu Xia’s freedom.

Other parties point their finger at Hong Kong police for failing to protect a Hong Kong citizen. By contrast, China’s security services appear to be able to act undisturbed in the city once protected by the "nation, two systems" principle.

See also

04/06/2009 CHINA
The world remembers Tiananmen, controversy between the US and China
Hillary Clinton: reveal the names of the dead and release those being held in prison since 1989. China responds calling it “grave interference” in internal affairs. Worldwide vigils are held, 100 thousand expected for the annual Victoria Park gathering in Hong Kong. The President of Taiwan criticises Beijing.

25/01/2010 MYANMAR
Aung San Suu Kyi released at end of her sentence in November, Myanmar minister says
Home Affairs Minister Maung Oo announces opposition leader’s release. This will bar her from taking part in the election called by the military junta. Ms Suu Kyi will purge her entire sentence. An opposition leader says the announcement is “nothing new or extraordinary.”

21/09/2006 CHINA
Another three Chinese dissidents in prison

Police apprehended Yang Maodong, Zhang Jianhong and Chen Shuqing on charges of publishing "subversive" articles and conducting "illegal business". The three men are all known to the authorities for their pro-democracy work.

09/07/2012 MYANMAR
Aung San Suu Kyi’s first address to parliament, after 25 years fighting for democracy
The Burmese leader promises to do her best for the country. Debut address in aftermath of arrests of dozens of students marking 50th anniversary of the Yangon University massacre. To support Aung San Suu Kyi in parliament 37 members of the National League for Democracy elected in April.

05/01/2011 MYANMAR
Military celebrates independence, Burmese want an end to the dictatorship
The ruling junta celebrated the 63rd anniversary of the end of British colonial rule. For most Burmese, liberation day is still to come because the country is still being oppressed. Candles are lit for political prisoners at Shwedagon Pagoda. Aung San Suu Kyi is a source of hope in a future of freedom.

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