Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit, convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, is conscious and in stable condition after being attacked by unknown assailants on Wednesday night. Members of the Front revealed he would remain at at Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for observation and treatment.
Sham was smashed over the head with hammers and spanners by at least four non-ethnic Chinese attackers on Arran Street in Mong Kok at 7.40pm, a police source said.
The attack targeting Sham’s head and limbs left three to five wounds on his head. His arms and kneecaps were also injured, according to Lai Yan-ho, a vice-convenor of the Front. “The wounds have been cleaned and sutured,” he added. “No bone fractures were detected but his joints were injured.”
Lai added that Sham had to stay in the hospital for physiotherapy and further examinations, and would be absent from upcoming public events or protests.
The attack came four days before the Front’s planned mass demonstration on Sunday. The pro-democracy group has organised many peaceful anti-extradition protests in recent months.
After rumours circulated online that certain ethnic groups were responsible for the attack, Sham appealed to the public to refrain from using violence to right a wrong.
“Sham also told us that he was not able to see the perpetrators’ faces clearly or identify their ethnicity, because he was covering his head with his hands during the assault,” Lai told the press.
“He also said the root of the problem actually lies in the violence of our social structure and the heartlessness and injustice of the regime, which has not allowed the five demands to be met,” said Lai.
Meanwhile, the Front’s vice-convenor Figo Chan Ho-hang claimed that the police force had only taken photos of Sham’s blood-covered backpack, and did not consider seizing it as evidence for the case until it was requested to do so by members of the Front.
Chan also urged the force to investigate the case as quickly as possible, even though Sham’s condition would not permit him to give testimony in the near future.
“CCTV footage at the scene and eyewitness testimonies should be sufficient to show clearly what happened during the attack. We hope the police will investigate and arrest the assailants as soon as possible.”
The Front stated that Sham’s injury would not affect their planned march on Sunday, which calls for the establishment of a commission of inquiry into alleged police brutality, the abolishment of the anti-mask law and the reformation of the police force.
They urged the force to grant a letter of no objection to them as soon as possible to protect the safety of the protesters. “In the face of police and triad brutality in the past few months, citizens who support peaceful, rational and non-violent means [of protesting] are longing for a legal, peaceful and safe rally where they can voice their concerns,” Chan said.
Both Lai and Chan also called on citizens to take to the streets on Sunday.
“We hope [the general public] could participate in the march to speak up for Sham, as well as those who have been injured, arrested and detained during [the anti-government] movement,” said Chan.
The attack was the second against Sham in less than two months. In late August, Sham and his assistant Law Kwok-wai were set upon by two people in masks wielding a baseball bat and a rod, which happened hours after a rally planned by the Front for the following weekend had been banned.