A volunteer assisting a League of Social Democrats candidate in the District Council elections was allegedly beaten up in Sham Shui Po on Thursday while engaging in campaign activities. A middle-aged man named Leung Chi-shing has been arrested by the police in connection with the incident.

Sally Tang Mei-ching, who is running for a District Council seat in Ha Pak Tin, said that she and her election assistant, Lam, had been handing out flyers at their booth, located at the junction of Pak Tin Estate Nam Cheong Street and Wai Lun Street. At around 5pm on Thursday, a man of around 60 years of age suddenly approached Lam and began swearing at him, saying, “You should not criticise [current District Councillor] Yan Kai-wing.”

Photo: Sally Mei Ching Tang via Facebook.

According to Tang, when Lam attempted to record the incident on his phone, the man knocked the phone to the ground, Oriental Daily reported. He then began to beat Lam up, an attack which lasted around 15 seconds, and in this he was apparently egged on by a crowd of passers-by. Lam sustained arm and neck injuries and was bleeding from his mouth. He was sent to the Caritas Medical Centre.

Tang and her election campaign team. Photo: Sally Mei Ching Tang via Facebook.

Following the incident, the League of Social Democrats said that “for the past twenty or so years Yan Kai-wing had served as the District Councillor in this area… now he’s being challenged by the young graduate from the University of Hong Kong, Tang Mei-ching”. The party also said that when the police began investigating and asked passers-by about the incident, eyewitnesses claimed that they did not see anyone being assaulted; instead, they said that it was the volunteer who attempted to beat up the assailant. Fortunately, the party said, a volunteer had caught the incident on camera. 

“We strongly condemn the incident and will continue to defend the freedom to run in elections and freedom of speech. We will not bow down to violence,” Tang said on Facebook.

Sally Tang and Yan Kai-wing are contesting for a seat in Ha Pak Tin at the District Council elections this year, which will take place on November 22. Yan, who previously ran as an independent candidate, is now a member of Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, a pro-Beijing party.

Earlier this week, the offices of district councillors Alice Lam Chui-lin and Chung Shu-kun were vandalised with red paint.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.