Kim impersonator links arrest to protests

Local | Staff reporter 21 Jan 2021

A Kim Jong-un impersonator has complained of "arbitrary arrest" by the police because of his mockery of the SAR government.

Australian-Chinese Howard X, who appeared in anti-fugitive protests dressed as the North Korean leader, said yesterday that he was arrested at his home on October 28 and needs to report to the police every six weeks for possession of illegal firearms.

About 10 officers searched his home with a warrant and told him a BB gun was posted to his address in April, but Howard claimed he never received the package.

Police told him that particular types of BB gun are considered real firearms, because they have an energy output that is higher than the legal limit.

"However, nothing was found [in his home] and I was taken away for processing at the airport branch police station," he said.

He said police recognized him and some were "even fans." "When I challenged them on the arrest on such ridiculous grounds, they indicated that the order came from another department higher up and stated they were just doing their job."

Howard said he suspected the arrest was not really related to the BB, gun as police had mentioned his satirical appearance in protests last year at the IFC in Central on July 1 and October 1 in support of protesters.

He also said he often makes use of and owns a number of replica BB guns, missiles or nuclear bombs during his impersonation performances and videos.

"In my opinion, this is an arbitrary arrest for my satirical critique of the Chinese Communist Party government in the years past, and this arrest is being used as a tool not only to harass, but to also take my fingerprints, had my iPhone confiscated and my home searched," he said.

No charges have been filed, but he will have to make bail and report to the police every six weeks. "I will once again have to report to them today, when they will have the option to either charge me, drop the case or make me report back in another six weeks," he said.

"Since I was made to report to the station back in December, I made sure that it was documented and arrived in character at the police station with my rocket to highlight the ridiculous grounds of my arrest," he added.

Born in Hong Kong, Howard X appeared at a number of protests in the city, including the Occupy Central sit-in in 2014 and anti-fugitive bill protests in 2019.

He received media attention when he teamed up with impersonators of US President Donald Trump at a number of events.

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