The head of Hong Kong’s largest police union issued a letter mourning the recent death of a state media reporter who was attacked during the 2019 extradition bill protests at the city’s airport.

Fu Guohao, who was a reporter for Global Times when he was attacked at Hong Kong International Airport in August 2019, passed away in October last year at the age of 30, his father announced on Weibo last Thursday.

Global Times reporter Fu Guohao tied up by protesters at the Hong Kong International Airport.

Fu’s attack led to the conviction of three people: Lai Yunlong, Amy Pat, and Ho Ka-lok, were convicted of rioting and assault causing actual bodily harm. Lai was also convicted of obstructing public officers, while Pat was convicted of false imprisonment.

Lai was sentenced to five years and three months, while Ho was jailed for five and a half years. Pat was sentenced to four years and three months.

The incident took place at the height of the extradition bill protests. Fu was surrounded by protesters at the airport when he refused to show his press pass after taking close-up photos of demonstrators. They tied his hands to a trolley with zip ties and searched his bag.

Inside were a blue t-shirt bearing the message “I love police” and business cards of police officers.

A video showed Fu saying, “I support Hong Kong police. You may now beat me up,” as he was being restrained.

Founded in 1993, the Global Times is a state-run tabloid under the Communist Party’s flagship paper the People’s Daily. It is known for its hardline editorials.

Junior Police Officers’ Association Chair Lam Chi-wai. File photo: i-Cable screenshot.

Lam Chi-wai, chair of the Junior Police Officers’ Association, wrote on Tuesday that he felt like he had been “struck by lightning” when he heard about Fu’s death.

Lam said that he and Fu had met once, and that the union chair felt that the reporter was a “sincere young person full of positivity.”

“Even though we did not exchange much, I am certain that he was a patriotic and righteous friend of the police,” Lam wrote.

The union chairperson said that those who attacked Fu had already faced the consequences, and those who did not help Fu that day “will live in endless self-blame and with a sense of guilt for the rest of their lives.”

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.