Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said that Hongkongers should trust the city’s law enforcement bodies to investigate the alleged abduction and assault of pro-democracy activist Howard Lam.

On Tuesday morning, Democratic Party member Howard Lam was arrested for allegedly misleading police after claiming last week that he was abducted and assaulted by mainland agents. Prior to a meeting of the city’s executive council, Carrie Lam said she was not involved in the case, but that she had “every confidence” that the police would complete a full investigation.

See also: Democrat who claimed abduction by mainland agents arrested for misleading police

Carrie Lam. File photo: GovHK.

“The important thing is for society to have confidence and trust in our law enforcement bodies. They would investigate in a very fair and equitable and open manner,” said Lam.

When asked if the government had taken a position on the case, the chief executive said that its stance was the same as that of the law enforcement bodies involved. “When it comes to what an individual has said about an incident – for example in this case – where there have been claims of abduction or abuse, I think that society will look at the truth, the evidence, and the credibility of the statement, and come to its own judgement – so I will not comment,” she said.

See also: ‘Unacceptable and outrageous’: Activist claims Chinese agents put 21 staples into his legs for being ‘unpatriotic’

Howard Lam was arrested by the police on Tuesday morning. Photo: RTHK screencap.

Lam was also asked if Lam’s allegations may be related to the Democratic Party’s opposition to the West Kowloon terminus of the Express Rail Link. In July, the government announced that mainland laws would be enforced in parts of the terminus, sparking concern among the pro-democracy camp that Hong Kong was ceding territory to China and effectively giving up a portion of Hong Kong’s jurisdiction.

See more: Explainer: The controversial joint checkpoint arrangement for Hong Kong’s Express Rail Link

Lam replied: “This is an individual case, I will not make any speculation, just as I also advise that everyone else does not – [they should avoid] following one person’s testimony of an alleged crime, make meaningless speculation or evaluations.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Executive Council member Ronny Tong said he was saddened by the arrest of Howard Lam, but had faith that there were misunderstandings that can be resolved.

Editor’s note: Digital media outlets such as Hong Kong Free Press are currently barred from attending government press conferences.

Jun Pang

Jun Pang is an independent writer and researcher. She has previously worked in NGOs advocating for refugees' and migrants' rights in Asia and Europe.