Hong Kong localism and independence

Hong Kong woman, 67, is fifth suspect arrested in connection with airport assault on lawmaker Nathan Law

Legislator was attacked after returning from controversial trip to Taiwan for event with local pro-independence party

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 1:05pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 11:03pm

A 67-year-old woman was arrested on Monday in connection with an assault on lawmaker Nathan Law Kwun-chung, who was injured during a violent protest at Hong Kong International Airport eight days ago.

The elderly suspect was picked up by detectives from the New Territories South regional crime unit in Tseung Kwan O on Monday morning, bringing the total number of arrests relating to the case to five.

“The woman was arrested on suspicion of common assault and unlawful assembly,” a police report said.

Nathan Law attacked at Hong Kong International Airport by pro-China protesters

The suspect was later driven back to the crime unit’s headquarters in Tsuen Wan, where she is being held for questioning.

Police said it was possible that further arrests would be made.

On Tuesday last week, two men, aged 53 and 71, were arrested in connection with the assault. The pair were initially detained on January 8 on suspicion of assaulting three TV crew members covering Law’s return to the city from Taiwan.

The next day, police arrested a third suspect – a 68-year-old woman – on suspicion of assaulting Law and taking part in an unlawful assembly. A fourth suspect – a 71-year-old man – was picked up in Sham Tseng last Friday.

According to police, all five were released on bail pending further investigation.

Activist Joshua Wong returns safely to Hong Kong after Taiwan visit marred by multiple protests

Violence erupted at the airport on January 8 as Law emerged from the arrival hall upon returning from a two-day visit to Taipei, where he and lawmakers Edward Yiu Chung-yim and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, as well as student activist Joshua Wong, held talks with Taiwan’s pro-independence New Power Party.

Protesters yelled “traitor” at Law, some holding banners bearing the words “get out of Hong Kong”.

Law, 24, a Demosisto party lawmaker, suffered scratches to his neck and arms and a bruise on his right thigh. Someone threw liquid in his face, and his shirt was torn.

Law has urged police to investigate whether elements of organised crime were involved in the protest, suggesting that the assault had been planned and was no ordinary demonstration.

He also claimed that the lack of police security at the time of his return was partly to blame for the scene.

A police source rejected Law’s allegations, claiming officers had warned the legislator about the protesters and had advised him to take another route when exiting the airport, which he declined to do.

Law’s group was also heckled by more than 200 protesters at Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei upon their arrival. According to an AFP report, Taiwan police suspect that local gangs are linked to the incident, and are investigating.