Hong Kong protest leader Jimmy Sham left bloodied in street attack

Hong Kong protest leader Jimmy Sham left bloodied in street attack

Collage: Hong Kong protest leader Jimmy Sham attacked
Screengrabs from a video circulating online showing emergency responders attending to Jimmy Sham.

HONG KONG: A leading face of Hong Kong's protest movement was rushed to hospital covered in blood late Wednesday (Oct 16) after being attacked by unidentified thugs with hammers, his group said.

The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) said leader Jimmy Sham was assaulted by four to five people wielding hammers in the district of Mong Kok in what they described as an act of "political terror".

"He received a bloody head wound and was sent to Kwong Wah hospital," the CHRF said in a statement, adding Sham was conscious when paramedics arrived.

READ: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests

Photos posted online showed Sham in a red t-shirt, sprawled on the street in a pool of blood.

"It is not hard to link this incident to a spreading political terror in order to threaten and inhibit the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights," CHRF added.

In an update on Facebook, the protest group said bystanders had tried to help Sham, but his assailants threatened them with a knife.

Sham is the main spokesman of the CHRF, a group which 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 huge and 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.

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

As the violence escalates, hardcore 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.

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Source: AFP/nc