Former Hong Kong Bookseller Lam Wing-kei Hit in Taiwan Spray Paint Attack


2020-04-21
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lam-taiwan.jpg Former Hong Kong Causeway Bay Books manager Lam Wing-kei, after he was splashed with red paint at a coffee shop close to the crowd-funded bookstore he plans to open this week in Taipei, Taiwan, April 21, 2020.
RFA

A former manager of a shuttered Hong Kong book store who was detained in mainland China for selling banned political books was attacked with red paint in Taipei on Tuesday, four days before he is slated to open a branch of the shop in Taiwan.

Former Causeway Bay Books manager Lam Wing-kei, one of five Hong Kong booksellers detained in 2015 by the Chinese authorities, was splashed with red paint in a coffee shop close to the crowd-funded bookstore he plans to open April 25, he said.

While drinking coffee, Lam saw two suspicious-looking men in the alley across the street and they rushed up to him and sprayed red paint all over his head and torso, he said.

“This is what the Chinese Communist Party has done in Taiwan, and I strongly believe this is done by the CCP,” he said, voicing suspicion that the attack was the work of pro-Beijing thugs, who are widely known to do the party’s bidding in Hong Kong and in Taiwan.

Taiwan media said that CCTV footage reviewed by police suggested the main assailant is a man aged around 30.

Lam, an outspoken critic of China and the Beijing-controlled Hong Kong government who moved to Taipei in 2019, called the attack “a threat, warning me not to open my bookstore.”

But he told reporters that he is not worried about himself, but is concerned about threats to those who have helped him to reopen the book store.

Scene where bookseller Lam Wing-kei was splashed with red paint at a coffee shop close to the crowd-funded bookstore he plans to open in Taipei this week, April 21, 2020.
Scene where bookseller Lam Wing-kei was splashed with red paint at a coffee shop close to the crowd-funded bookstore he plans to open in Taipei this week, April 21, 2020.
RFA
Lam was among five booksellers detained by Chinese police for selling banned political books to customers across the internal border in mainland China.

The detentions were widely criticized by overseas governments, as none of the booksellers had broken any laws in Hong Kong, where they lived and worked, and at least two of them were taken back to China in dubious circumstances.

Lam, who has been the most outspoken of the detainees, speaking out in defiance of gag orders imposed by Chinese police, fled to Taiwan after giving a large number of media interviews, amid concerns that he may be detained again or kidnapped while in Hong Kong.

Reported by RFA's Mandarin Service. Written by Paul Eckert.

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