A Hong Kong lawmaker known for his fierce criticism of ongoing anti-government protests in the city has been attacked in an apparent stabbing.
Video released by the Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times showed Junius Ho being attacked by a man while talking to members of the public in the Hong Kong district of Tuen Mun. The man, dressed in blue, a color associated with supporting the Hong Kong police, hands Ho a bouquet of flowers before reaching into a bag for what appears to be a knife, which he then thrusts towards the lawmaker.
Ho did not appear to be severely hurt and assisted in subduing the man. A subsequent video showed Ho being given first aid for an injury to his chest. His office did not immediately respond for a request for comment about the incident.
Police confirmed that the lawmaker had received an injury to his chest. Ho’s assistant was also injured in the attack, sustaining injuries to his hand. The alleged attacker has been arrested for assault and personal injury.
According to public broadcaster RTHK, the alleged attacker shouted abuse at Ho, accusing him of being involved in an attack against protesters in Yuen Long on July 21, when dozens of people were assaulted by a group of men dressed in white.
Following that incident, video emerged of Ho shaking hands with men dressed like the alleged attackers. Ho told CNN in September that he met the men before any violence occurred and said he condemned any violence or lawbreaking.
His alleged link to the Yuen Long attack, as well as his stridently anti-protest pronouncements on Facebook and in Hong Kong media, has made Ho a figure of hate for many in the months long protest movement.
In late July, the graves of Ho’s parents were vandalized and his district office ransacked. In a video he uploaded to social media after the event, he appeared to threaten to kill his opponents, saying they risked walking the “path of not being alive.” Ho said that his words were “taken out of context” and not meant literally, nor was it his intention “to encourage any crime.”
Since then, Ho has continued to clash with pro-democracy lawmakers, including an incident in which he used a sexist and racially charged insult against Claudia Mo, a prominent opposition legislator.
The alleged knife attack against Ho comes after another Hong Kong lawmaker, Andrew Chiu, had part of his ear bitten off after a man attacked him and three others in a mall on Sunday, following protests there. Chiu is one of several pro-democracy figures who have been assaulted or attacked recently, including Jimmy Sham, former convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, which helped organize large marches in early June.
Sham was attacked by a group of masked men carrying baseball bats and knives in August. In October he suffered head injuries in a second attack by another group of masked men armed with knives and hammers.