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Protest leader attacked and hospitalized



Jimmy Sham was attacked by four to five people wielding hammers

Amnesty International is urging Hong Kong authorities to launch a prompt and thorough investigation into a brutal attack on human rights defender Jimmy Sham, who was today beaten by a group of men wielding iron hammers.

A leading face of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement was rushed to hospital covered in blood late Wednesday after being attacked by unidentified thugs with hammers, his protest group said.

The Civil Human Rights Front said leader Jimmy Sham was assaulted by four to five people wielding hammers in the district of Mongkok in what they described as an act of “political terror”.

Sham is the main spokesman of the CHRF, a group that advocates non-violence and organised a series of record-breaking, peaceful marches earlier this summer that were opposed to a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China.

Hong Kong’s four months of increasingly violent protests were initially sparked by the now-scrapped bill.

But they have since snowballed into a wider movement calling for greater democracy and police accountability after Beijing and local leaders took a hard line.

Multiple pro-democracy activists have been attacked by pro-Beijing supporters in recent months, and Sham was also assaulted in August.

As the violence has escalated, hardcore pro-democracy protesters have also begun meting out their own street justice, beating people who vocally disagree with their goals or are viewed to be government loyalists.

Lam instead released a pre-recorded video, announcing plans to increase housing and land supply in a city that has one of the least affordable property markets in the world, as well as various subsidies.

“I firmly believe that Hong Kong will be able to ride out this storm and move on,” she said.Hammer attack

-Hammer attack –

The Civil Human Right Front (CHRF), a non-violent protest group behind a series of huge marches earlier in the summer, said it was applying for a police permit to hold a new march on Sunday.

Sham, one of Hong Kong’s most prominent activists and convener of the Civil Human Rights Front, was on his way to a meeting in the MongKok area of Hong Kong when the attack happened. He is now being treated in hospital.

Joshua Rosenzweig, Head of Amnesty International’s East Asia Regional Office, said:

• “We are devastated to hear of this attack on Jimmy Sham, a brave human rights defender and one of the driving forces behind Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.

• “Jimmy Sham was left bleeding on the street and has been hospitalised with head injuries. Even in the context of increasing attacks on activists, this incident is shocking in its brutality.

• “The authorities must promptly conduct an investigation into this horrifying attack, bring all those responsible to justice and send a clear message that targeting activists will have consequences. Anything less would send a chilling signal that such attacks are tolerated by the authorities.”

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