Hong Kong’s justice minister hurt her arm in a fall while on an official trip in London on Thursday, in what was the first physical confrontation between a cabinet official and Hong Kong protesters.
Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, who was in Britain to promote Hong Kong as a centre of dispute resolution, appeared calm but shocked while surrounded by at least 30 protesters angry about the administration’s handling of the anti-government protests.
[BREAKING] Secretary for Justice of the HKSAR Theresa Cheng is attending a event to give a speech but fell on the floor during a protest against her and her government in London#HongKong #HongKongProstest #HongKongProtester #FreedomHK #DemocracyforHongKong pic.twitter.com/L5XYgXNsgX
— Chloe Leung (@chloeleungys) November 14, 2019
She later reported the matter to the police and asked them to “take the case seriously and put the culprits to justice”, her office said in a statement.
“The secretary for justice castigates the violent mob in London today causing her serious bodily harm on her way to an event venue,” it said.
“The secretary denounces all forms of violence and radicalism depriving others’ legitimate rights in the pretext of pursuing their political ideals, which would never be in the interest of Hong Kong and any civilised society.”
Videos on Twitter did not show whether Cheng, 61, was pushed to the ground or fell.
#HongKongProtesters shouting “murderer at Teresa Cheng for her political prosecutions of protesters but very little prosecutions of the thugs of the Yuen Long attacks. #HKprotests #hk #HongKong #HongKongers #hkprotest #hongkongprotestors #HongKongProtester #RuleOfLaw #London pic.twitter.com/bKBVPdJTWM
— YellowShyGuy (@YellowShyGuy852) November 14, 2019
The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, which organised her talk, said in a statement that Cheng was “assaulted by a crowd” while entering the building and as a result “sustained an injury to her arm”.
“[The] Ciarb is committed to peacefully resolving conflict and deplores the use of violence, particularly to a guest to the United Kingdom.”
In a video of her confrontation with the protesters, which lasted for several minutes, people are heard shouting: “Shame on you”, “Five demands, not one less” and “Murderer”.
The protests began in June when the government tried to introduce an extradition bill that would have allowed the transfer of fugitives between Hong Kong and mainland China. The bill has since been withdrawn.
Cheng, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s top legal adviser, is widely seen as one of the key figures in drafting the legislation.
According to a poll by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute released this week, Cheng had the lowest popularity rating – at minus 68 per cent – of all Lam’s cabinet members.
Lam issued a statement condemning the incident in London.
“The barbaric behaviour got beyond the line of a civic society, it should be strongly condemned,” she said.
China’s embassy in Britain also released a statement on Friday expressing its “strong indignation [at] and severe condemnation” of the incident, and called on local police to conduct an investigation.
“These violent offenders colluded through the internet to unashamedly violently attack a Hong Kong SAR government official, once again proving that their true intent is to cause chaos in Hong Kong, paralyse the SAR government, and destroy ‘one country, two systems’,” it said.
“They have already extended their black hands outside and towards the UK. Their actions are not only severely condemned by all Chinese people including Hong Kong counterparts, but will inevitably be condemned by the British people and international society.”
More from South China Morning Post:
- Hong Kong protests: elderly man hit on head by brick during clash in Sheung Shui dies while two others hurt in separate incidents remain in critical condition
- Hong Kong protests: failure of students’ court bid to bar police from Chinese University campus has sent alarm bells ringing in academic circles. What does it mean for the future?
- Protesters gather outside office of Hong Kong justice minister Teresa Cheng, calling on her to withdraw suspended extradition bill
This article Hong Kong justice secretary Teresa Cheng injured in London while surrounded by protesters first appeared on South China Morning Post