Activist Max Chung was assaulted by four men after leaving Tai Po Police Station on Thursday, shortly after he was granted unconditional release by police.
Chung was walking along Tai Wo Road when four men “attacked him with metal rods and umbrellas,” according to Truth Media Hong Kong (TMHK) reporter Jeffrey Cheng, who was interviewing Chung at the time.
Chung reportedly suffered injuries to his arms, whilst the reporter said he was bleeding after suffering from a blow to the lips.
The TMHK reporter said that he and Chung were chatting and slowly walking to Tai Wo MTR station, when they felt they were being followed. When they turned around, four men approached and started beating Chung.
According to TMHK, Cheng tried to warn the assailants in both Chinese and English that he was a reporter, and three of the four men stopped attacking. As Cheng tried to separate the last remaining assailant from Chung, he was also hit.
The attack lasted around two minutes, and the four men – described as being of South Asian descent – fled before police arrived at the scene.
On Thursday, Chung went to Tai Po Police Station for his bail extension, as he was arrested on July 28 for organising an unlawful assembly.
Chung was the person who initially applied for the letter of no objection for the Yuen Long protest on July 27, but the march was banned and a subsequent appeal was rejected.
After the ban, Chung said he would “march by himself” and not urge anyone else to join, but thousands of people chose to go to Yuen Long nonetheless. The clashes between protesters and police on July 27 resulted in 23 people injured and 11 arrested.
Chung was arrested the day after the Yuen Long protests as he was attending a public forum.
Police on Thursday offered a bail extension to Chung, but he refused the conditions and police decided to release him unconditionally. Police said they will continue to investigate the case, and if there is sufficient evidence they may arrest Chung again.
After the assault at Tai Wo Road, TMHK issued a statement condemning the incident and described it as an interference with press freedom. It called on the police to actively investigate the case and bring the culprits to justice.
Chung will meet the press at 7pm on Thursday.
The assault in Tai Po was the second time on Thursday that a pro-democracy activist involved with organising marches was beaten up. Separately, Civil Human Rights Front convenor Jimmy Sham and his companion were attacked by two masked men wielding a baseball bat and knife in Jordan earlier on Thursday.
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