Founder of banned independence says he was attacked in street

Andy Chan speaking to reporters outside Fanling magistrates’ Court. Screengrab via Facebook video/Stand News.
Andy Chan speaking to reporters outside Fanling magistrates’ Court. Screengrab via Facebook video/Stand News.

A pro-democracy activist and founder of a banned political party advocating Hong Kong’s independence said he was attacked on his way to court this afternoon.

After being granted bail on protest-related charges today, Andy Chan told reporters he was beaten with flashlights on his way to the court by three or four men wearing masks, caps, and sunglasses.

“I was on my own walking toward the courthouse, and I crossed the station’s bridge,” Chan said. “I was looking at Google Maps on my phone at the time, so my guard was down, then suddenly a group of people charged forwards.”

Chan was among six people arrested by police late last month for their alleged roles in the ongoing anti-government protests.

Chan was charged with assaulting police and unlawful assembly in relation to his involvement with a “reclaim Sheung Shui” protest on July 13. Sheung Shui, a town close to the mainland border, is a popular spot for mainland tourists and parallel traders. Previous protests there against parallel traders have seen local residents and mainlanders clash.

The Fanling Magistrates Court today released Chan on a bond of HK$10,000 (US$1,275), and postponed his case until early December. He was ordered to report to the police weekly and not leave Hong Kong except for overseas trips that were already planned.

Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Chan said the attack happened while walking from Fanling MTR station to the courthouse.

The 29-year-old activist said he broke free by pushing the attackers away and ran, adding that they gave pursuit but tripped.

His story could not immediately be corroborated.

Chan said he sustained minor injuries to his head and pelvis, but said he wouldn’t report the incident because he doesn’t trust the police force.

Chan is the founder of the Hong Kong National Party, a pro-independence political party that was officially banned by the government in September 2018.

The attack alleged by Chan comes amid a surge in targeted violence against pro-democracy campaigns. Three days ago, pro-democracy lawmaker Roy Kwong and an Apple Daily journalist were attacked by unknown assailants.

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