Democratic Party member Howard Lam was hospitalised on Friday, hours after he claimed he was abducted and beaten by mainland security agents in Mong Kok.

Partial anaesthesia will be required to remove 21 staples which were inserted into his legs, said lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting.

Lee Cheuk-yan. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Trauma and orthopaedic specialists at Queen Mary Hospital in Pokfulam were also examining injuries to his head and stomach, he added.

The Police West Kowloon Crime Unit has been taking statements from Lam at his bedside.

Earlier on Friday, the party told reporters that the activist was accosted by Mandarin-speaking men at a sports merchandise store on Portland Street in Kowloon on Thursday. Lam said he was then taken away in a van, knocked out with a substance he was made to inhale, beaten and interrogated. He awoke the next day on a beach in Sai Kung.

Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

The ordeal took place days after he received a warning from a mainland Chinese individual claiming to be affiliated with Chinese national security agencies. Lam had intended to send a signed photo of footballer Lionel Messi to Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The late Nobel Laureate was a fan of Messi, according to his friends.

“Hong Kong people are very worried whether we still have the freedom from fear,” Lam Cheuk-ting said. “The Hong Kong government should tell the mainland authorities that we do not allow any such crimes,” he added. “I have yet to see examples of these criminals being caught.”

Photo: Democratic Party.

Howard Lam was formerly a member of the party’s central committee.

Incident condemned 

Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong issued a statement condemning the “cruelty of Chinese agents.”

“Not only was this a serious case of cross-border law enforcement, but also a further corruption and degradation of ‘One country Two Systems’,” he said.

Joshua Wong. Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

Lam Wing-kee, a Hong Kong bookseller who was allegedly kidnapped and sent to China last year, issued a short statement, saying: “[The incident] makes Hong Kong people suspicious: do the Hong Kong police have the ability to perform their duties and maintain safety?”

Lam Wing-kee returned to Hong Kong last June.

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Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.