A man suspected of stabbing a police officer during protests against the national security law was arrested at the airport Wednesday night. He was already on his flight bound for London—which was about to take off—when authorities called the plane back, boarded it and apprehended the suspect.
Local media cited a Thursday morning post on Weibo by a netizen who appears to be a Hong Kong police officer. It had received more than 18,440 likes at the time of writing.
The netizen wrote: “[This is] the most, most, most joyful news of today!!!!!!!! The prick who stabbed [our] colleague, he just boarded a flight to London at the airport and was arrested by us!!!!!! There’s no way we can’t be thrilled, let’s cheers to that!!!!!”
Angry protesters retook the streets yesterday, triggered by the just-passed national security law that gives Beijing sweeping powers to crack down on anti-government voices. Under the new legislation, offenders stand to face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment if found guilty of acts of secession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces.
Some of the most violent confrontation happened in Causeway Bay, where a man stabbed a police officer in the arm as he was trying to arrest another protester.
On Facebook, police posted gory pictures of the officer’s injured arm, adding that he “sustained laceration to his left shoulder.”
The post read: “At around 4 PM, Police officers conducted arrest action in Causeway Road near Hing Fat Street, Causeway Bay. During the arrest, the suspect severely resisted while rioters nearby surrounded the officer and used sharp objects and umbrellas, etc. to attack the officer, they also hurled hard objects at the officer and punched him. Rioters even assisted the arrested person to successfully escape from the arrest.”
Police deployed tear gas, pepper spray and water cannon throughout the day as Hong Kong saw the most violent demonstrations it had in months. The protests lasted into the night, with police arresting around 370 people by 10pm—including 10 people on suspicion of violating the national security law. A total of seven officers were injured and receiving treatment in hospital, the force added.