Hong Kong's pro-Beijing lawmaker Junious Ho was stabbed on Wednesday in an apparent assassination bid. The 57-year old lawyer-turned politician was attacked while he was campaigning at Tuen Mun for the upcoming local elections for the District Council.
Would-be assassin offers flowers before attack
In a graphic video posted online, a man in a blue shirt is seen talking to Junious Ho. After giving him a bunch of flowers, the attacker asks him for a selfie. Reaching into his bag, he pretends to take out his phone, but instead takes out a knife and stabs the lawmaker in his chest. In the seconds that followed, the attacker can be seen being overpowered by those around, including Ho.
Ho was later taken to the hospital. The incident left four people injured, including the attacker who has been arrested, South China Morning Post reported.
Why was Ho targeted by pro-democracy protesters?
Junious Ho has been a controversial politician. He had drawn ire for publicly supporting people who had attacked the pro-democracy protesters. The public display of support came on July 21 when he was seen shaking hands and thanking masked men in white shirts who had attacked the pro-democracy protesters. The attack had left as many as 45 protesters injured. Defending the masked men, Ho had said that the attackers were merely "defending their homes and people".
Hong Kong has been boiling ever since the local administration proposed an extradition bill under which Hong Kong residents could be extradited to mainland China over suspected rimes.
Ho had said protesters should be killed
Anglia Ruskin University in UK, where Ho had studied, removed the honorary doctorate it had awarded, amid protests against him in Hong Kong. In 2017, he was accused of saying that the protesters should be "killed". He has been in the past accused of likening homosexuality with bestiality. He has been at the receiving end of the protesters' ire with attempts made to attack his office. Even his parents' graves were desecrated in the past.
The present protests that broke out in June this year over an extradition bill swiftly transformed into a full democracy protest. The protests turned violent due to frequent clashes between the protesters and security forces. The Chinese President took a rare aggressive tone for the protests when he said that any attempt to divide China would end in "bodies smashed and bones grounded to powder".
Hong Kong was a British territory until 1997 after which it was ceded to China. The region has more autonomy and rights than mainland China. It's ruled under the system of 'one country, two systems', with a separate judiciary and legal system than mainland China.