Taiwanese police have arrested 13 people on suspicion of attacking Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmaker Nathan Law and activist Joshua Wong while they were in the country over the weekend. The arrests include a member of one of Taiwan’s biggest organised crime groups.

Demosistō legislator Nathan Law and Secretary-General Joshua Wong, as well as pro-democracy lawmakers Eddie Chu Hoi-dick and Edward Yiu Chung-yim, had been attending a forum in Taipei at the invitation of the New Power Party. On Monday, Law said that they were continuously harassed and faced attacks throughout the trip.

Taiwan arrests and Nathan Law. /Nathan Law, via Facebook.

Taiwanese police said that whilst Law, Wong and others were walking out of the airport, several men in black made their way through the police cordon and ran towards them, waving their fists about and yelling: “Get out Hong Kong independence advocates.” Under the protection of the police, the group remained unharmed, Apple Daily reported.

Four Seas gang member

Following an investigation, the police arrested a 28-year-old man surnamed Chen, a member of the Four Seas Gang and leader of one of the triad’s branches, on multiple charges related to earlier crimes he is suspected of committing. They are also examining whether Chen was behind the protests at the airport.

Chen said that he was “merely passing by” and denied attempting to attack Joshua Wong.

The National Police Agency in Taiwan said that several bureaux have formed a special unit and will continue to pursue the organisations behind the incident.

According to a Facebook post published by Law on Tuesday evening, the Taiwan police have already arrested 13 people in connection to the attacks. He said that Taiwan police were clearly more proactive and efficient than their Hong Kong counterparts, who had only made two arrests following violent attacks at the city’s airport.

Nathan Law and Joshua Wong at the Hong Kong airport before their Taiwan trip. Photo: 羅冠聰 Nathan Law via Facebook.

Pro-democracy lawmakers have written to the Legislative Council Panel on Security, asking for a special meeting on the matter.

The League of Social Democrats and Demosistō are organising a protest on Wednesday afternoon at the Wan Chai Police Station, where they will submit a petition and a statement, urging them to perform their duties and bring criminal organisations to justice. 

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.