Global Times staffer Fu Guohao said he told protesters to beat him up, as he had no choice but to verbally fight back while tied up with his pants off.
Fu, 29, who works at Huanqiu.com, a sister site of state media Global Times, continued recounting his ordeal yesterday before District Court Justice Clement Lee Hing-nin against four protesters charged over protests at the Hong Kong International Airport on August 13 and 14 last year.
Fu recalled that on the day, he was tied up and attacked at the airport's departure hall while filming with his phone at around 11pm.
He was confronted by protesters asking if he was a reporter, to which he replied he was a tourist.
Fu said the protesters then pulled him and attempted to take his bag, which he held onto so as to avoid being hurt and "humiliated," since it contained items that were of "different stances" to the protesters, including an "I love Hong Kong police" T-shirt.
When protesters found those items in his bag, Fu said they taunted him, calling him a "fake" reporter from the mainland.
Fu attempted to ask people for help when he was swamped by the crowd, and only "one or two" reporters tried to help him, albeit unsuccessfully.
Some protesters held him down and punched him, Fu said, and a man with an American flag "chased and beat" him.
Fu said that when he was tied to a baggage cart, protesters insulted him and took his pants off, making him feel extremely humiliated.
As he could not escape, Fu said he had no choice but to fight back with words, saying "Just hit me, hit me," and "I support Hong Kong police, you can beat me."
The four defendants are Lai Yun-long, 20; Amy Pat Wai-fan, 23; Ho Ka-lok, 29; and Wong Yat-ho, 29.
Lai, Pat, and Ho denied a charge of rioting, while Lai and Pat also pled not guilty to a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Pat and Wong also pled not guilty to false imprisonment and Wong denied participating in an illegal assembly.
The trial continues today.