Lennon wall attacker thrown out of Taiwan

Top News | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 10 Oct 2019

Taiwan has expelled a tourist from the mainland for damaging a "Lennon wall" put up in support of Hong Kong's democracy movement - a move that will irk Beijing.

Hong Kong activists have put up Lennon walls covered with colorful sticky notes, posters and slogans across the SAR, and they have been set up in Taiwan too - mostly on university campuses.

There has been widespread support in Taiwan for the protests that have shaken Hong Kong for four months, but Beijing supporters have targeted rallies and installations backing the movement.

Mainland visitor Li Shaodong was deported late on Tuesday for engaging in "criminal activities" after he was caught tearing posters pulled off a Lennon wall on a university campus in Taipei on Monday, the National Immigration Agency announced.

"Our government will not tolerate any illegal behavior that damages democracy and freedom with vicious intentions," it said.

Li is now barred from visiting Taiwan for five years. It is believed to be the first deportation from Taiwan linked to the Hong Kong protests.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has warned against any attempt to "provoke Taiwan's democracy and the rule of law," saying mainlanders who attack Hongkongers or damage Lennon walls will be barred from the island.

Tsai has also pledged to assist Hongkongers facing prosecution for involvement in anti-government protests who seek sanctuary in Taiwan.

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