A 19-year-old was left seriously wounded after being attacked near the “Lennon Wall” pro-democracy message board in Tai Po on Saturday afternoon. Photos shared online appeared to show he suffered a serious wound to his abdomen.

Police said that, at around 5:30pm, the victim was stabbed by a man with a knife inside the subway near Exit A of Tai Po Market MTR Station. He was later sent to the Prince of Wales Hospital.

The assailant briefly stayed at the crime scene before leaving in a taxi. Police said on Saturday evening that they had arrested a 22-year-old man in connection to the case.

According to an eyewitness, the victim was handing out flyers near the Lennon Wall as the assailant started to take down pro-democracy posters on the wall.

“The man charged at him and slashed him in the neck. My friend ran away, and when he fell on the ground, the assailant stabbed him in the stomach,” a man surnamed Lee told RTHK.

Photos and videos circulating online show that the victim’s intestines were exposed as he lay on the ground after the attack.

tai po lennon wall attacker
The suspected assailant in Tai Po spotted before and after the attack. Photo: online.

The black-clad assailant then walked to the nearby bus terminal while still holding the weapon. He then shouted: “Listen, you useless Hong Kong youth, Hong Kong is a part of China, and I will go against whoever disrupts Hong Kong.”

His comments drew a fiery response from onlookers, who shouted obscenities and said that he was the one disrupting Hong Kong. The assailant then left on a green taxi.

Police said the case was classified as wounding, and was under investigation by the District Investigation Team of Tai Po District.

Tai Po lennon wall
A pedestrian subway in Tai Po has been converted into a large-scale Lennon Wall. The words read “Lennon Tunnel.” Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Since June, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters have created “Lennon Walls” community message boards, where they post colourful notices and hand out political leaflets. They have also been the site of multiple attacks: in August, a knife attack at a Lennon Wall in Tseung Kwan O has left three wounded, with a 26-year-old woman in critical condition.

The Lennon Wall in Tai Po is considered to be one of the largest and most extensively decorated in Hong Kong. Some have called it a “Lennon Tunnel,” since it covers nearly the entire surface of the subway near the Tai Po Market MTR station.

Though the extradition bill which sparked the summer’s protests was axed, demonstrators are still demanding an independent probe into police behaviour, amnesty for those arrested, universal suffrage and a halt to the characterisation of protests as “riots.”

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Holmes Chan is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. He covers local news with a focus on law, politics, and social movements. He studied law and literature at the University of Hong Kong.