- The Form Six student was handing out leaflets in Tai Po on Saturday when he was attacked with a knife in the neck and stomach
- Suspect Liu Guosheng, 22, was brought to Fanling Court to face one count of wounding with intent, an offence punishable by life imprisonment
A mainland Chinese man was remanded in custody by a Hong Kong court on Monday for allegedly stabbing a 19-year-old student who was handing out anti-government protest leaflets over the weekend, as the teenager remained in a serious condition in hospital.
Cook Liu Guosheng, 22, was brought to Fanling Court to face one count of wounding with intent, an offence punishable by life imprisonment, over his alleged attack in an underpass outside Tai Po Market MTR station on Saturday.
The alleged victim, a Form Six student surnamed Hung, was distributing leaflets near a so-called Lennon Wall " a public mural of pro-protest messages and artwork " in an underpass outside Tai Po Market MTR station at about 5pm when he was stabbed in the neck and stomach with a 20cm fruit knife.
He was sent to Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin, and was in a serious condition as of 10am on Monday, according to the Hospital Authority.
Prosecutors said Liu fled the scene after passers-by called police but then turned himself in an hour later. Liu was not required to enter a plea before acting Principal Magistrate Don So Man-lung as prosecutors needed more time to investigate, find those who filmed the alleged incident and interview Hung, who had just been discharged from the intensive care unit.
His defence lawyer did not apply for bail after prosecutors voiced objections.
Court documents revealed that the Guangxi native had entered Hong Kong via a two-way permit. The Post understands he had arrived on October 18 and was permitted to stay for a week up to October 25.
Liu was sent to jail custody, until his next hearing on December 18.
Kau Yan College, a Christian secondary school in Tai Po, confirmed on Monday that Hung was a student there. School principal Chow Ka-kui said Hung was not in a life-threatening condition as of Sunday night, after an operation on Saturday.
But, as Hung was in the intensive care unit, Chow and the school's vice-principal were unable to visit him after heading to the hospital on Saturday.
"He could talk and said he was in pain," Chow said, citing the victim's parents. The school would provide all necessary help with the pupil's studies during his absence as he would be taking Diploma of Secondary Education exams next year, he said, though it was uncertain when Hung would be able to return to school.
The Education Bureau had contacted the school to find out about the situation and provide necessary assistance, while a crisis-management committee had already been set up at the institution, Chow added.
Social workers and guidance counsellors were on standby on Monday as school resumed, he said, but students were "feeling OK" and were attending lessons as usual.
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Regarding the attack, Chow said the school "would not want to see violence as a channel to solve any problems".
"(We) don't want to see our society turning into a place like that," he said.
Students and teachers had also prayed for Hung, as well as for Hong Kong, during Monday morning assembly, he said.
Meanwhile, sit-ins were organised at eight public hospitals on Monday, with those taking part accusing police of abusing their power while condemning the escalating violence between people holding different political views and the force.
At Prince of Wales Hospital, where Hung is being treated, more than 200 medical professionals joined the lunch-break protest. Many were angered by the recent acts of violence as the city entered its fifth month of anti-government unrest.
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"No matter what political views people have, it is our duty as medical professionals to treat their ailment," said an internal medicine nurse, surnamed Leung. He added that it was "heartbreaking" to see many passers-by being arrested or injured.
Leung said the knife incident in Tai Po would not have happened if the government had responded to protesters' demands earlier.
In the 1 1/2 -hour sit-in, medical workers sang the popular protest anthem Glory to Hong Kong. They also chanted slogans including "fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong" and "medical workers save lives, the police force kills".
"Police always use 'self defence' as an excuse whenever protesters are severely injured," said an allied health worker, who gave her name as Wong.
A registered nurse, surnamed Kong, said: "We're at a stage where the political crisis risks safety and people's lives now. Police need to reflect on the pain they are inflicting on Hongkongers."
Police have dismissed accusations of misconduct during protests, saying they are trying to keep law and order amid the growing violence of radicals, while the government has firmly backed the force.
In August, 1,000 medical professionals staged a sit-in after police allegedly shot a beanbag round at a female protester's eye during a demonstration. The force is not taking the blame pending an investigation, even suggesting she was hit by a projectile from a protester's catapult.
The Hospital Authority said public hospitals were not suitable for public assemblies, and extra staff were deployed in institutions where sit-ins took place on Monday to ensure normal services for patients and smooth operations.
"Hospital staff have also been reminded of their personal safety and potential legal risks when participating in mass gathering activities," an authority spokesman said, adding that staff should also uphold their professionalism to provide equal treatment to all patients regardless of their background.
He said the authority would continue to communicate with police on concerns raised by hospital staff.
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