Howard Lam reveals staples torture and threats against Messi pic meant for Liu Xia

Local | 11 Aug 2017 8:24 pm

Pro-democracy activist Howard Lam Tsz-kin, who recounted today his torture at the hands of Chinese mainland abductors, showed reporters staples still embedded in his legs, which he wanted documented before reporting to police and getting hospital treatment.

Lam, a member of the Democratic Party, said his captors warned him against sending a signed photo of soccer star Lionel Messi to Liu Xia, the widow of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died last month while in custody. Liu was reputed to be a soccer fan and Messi follower.

Before Liu’s death of cancer on July 13, Lam had written to FC Barcelona to ask for a signed photo of the Argentine player that he could forward to Liu because he thought it would cheer him up.

The photo arrived too late, so Lam said he would then try to get it to Liu Xia, and had posted about it on Facebook. Her whereabouts since her husband’s death are unclear and her Beijing home is surrounded by security agents.

Earlier this week, Lam said he had received a call from an acquaintance on the mainland who warned him not to send the photo to Liu Xia.

Then, on Thursday afternoon, unidentified men grabbed him on a busy shopping street, saying, "Mr. Lam, we would like a chat with you.” They forced him into a car and made him smell something that caused him to lose consciousness.

When he awoke after being hit on the legs, he was tied up, blindfolded and stripped to his underwear. His captors spoke Mandarin, not the Cantonese that predominates in Hong Kong. They interrogated him about the photo and Liu Xia.

"Do you know Liu Xia?” they said. "Why are you causing trouble?”

He said they hit him in the stomach repeatedly and said, "You’re a Christian, aren’t you? So here’s a cross for you.” Then they used a stapler on his thighs to make Xs.

"They warned me not to send it to Liu Xia,” he said.

Lam said he was drugged again and woke up on a beach early Friday.-AP

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