Sham pleads for calm amid online outrage

Top News | Charlotte Luo 18 Oct 2019

Civil Human Rights Front convener Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit is appealing to the public not to retaliate against any ethnic group following his attack and voice their grievances peacefully in Sunday's rally.

Sham, 32, was in stable condition last night in Kwong Wah Hospital after sustaining five wounds to his head when several men assaulted him with hammers and spanners on Wednesday night in Mong Kok. It was the second attack on him in two months.

The pro-democracy activist is running against incumbent Michael Wong Yue-hon in Sha Tin in next month's district council elections.

Eric Lai Yan-ho, the front's deputy convener, said Sham told him when he visited the hospital that he did not recognize the attackers after reports claimed they appeared to be South Asians, sparking online calls to take action against the ethnic group.

Lai said Sham was stable, but he will need time to recover and cannot not join any public activity any time soon.

He added that Sham told him people should not retaliate against anyone because the true problem stems from "the violence of the system."

Writing on Facebook in the early hours of yesterday, Sham said: "Only an independent commission of inquiry can restore the truth. The system can only be rebuilt with the truth."

Sham said his wounds had been sewn up and he thanked his comrades, medical staff and police for their quick arrival at the scene.

"I will recover soon and continue to insist on our five demands and our beliefs in peaceful, rational [actions] and non-violence," Sham wrote. The front has organized the biggest marches against the extradition bill and has been given the go-ahead for a rally in Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday - the 20th weekend of protests.

Police said Sham's assault by up to five men with hammers was a planned attack, quoting witnesses as saying a vehicle had been circling the scene before the incident.

The Incorporated Trustees of The Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong said the Muslim community condemned the "barbaric and brutal attack" on Sham, which is "an attempt to create division in society."

The group said the community "has a peaceful history of more than 200 years." It added: "We stand together with the people of Hong Kong and shall continue to strive for maintaining an atmosphere of equity, peace, and harmony."

Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan Suk-chong questioned if the assault on Sham was planned so the government would have an excuse to postpone or even cancel the district council elections set for November 24.

Hong Kong First lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching said: "We can't help but feel that this entire thing is part of a plan to shed blood in Hong Kong's peaceful protests."

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said: "All kinds of violence, no matter what the scale, are unacceptable." Former chief executive Leung Chun-ying wrote on his Facebook that his bounty website, 803.hk, has offered a HK$300,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Sham's attackers.

At least nine pro-democracy figures have been attacked since August. On August 29, Sham and his assistant were attacked by two masked men with baseball bats at a restaurant in Jordan. No arrests have been made.

charlotte.luo@singtaonewscorp.com

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