Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah was injured due to a fall after being surrounded and heckled by a group of anti-Hong Kong government protesters in London, according to reports.
Public broadcaster RTHK quoted Cheng as saying that she reported to the London Police about a “violent mob” that surrounded her on Thursday when she was in the British capital.
The justice chief, who became deeply unpopular in Hong Kong after she was seen as one of the architects of the now-withdrawn extradition bill that triggered months of unrest in the city, claimed that she suffered “serious bodily harm” due to the actions of the protesters.
According to reports, Cheng was on her way to an event in London on Thursday night when she was surrounded by dozens of people who were supportive of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.
Castigating Cheng in Cantonese and English, the demonstrators are said to have pushed around the senior Hong Kong government official.
Online footage showed there had been chaos when she was entering the venue.
Cheng was seen in a video lying on the ground, although it was not immediately obvious whether she stumbled or was pushed, RTHK noted.
The justice chief, who travelled from Hong Kong to London on Wednesday, had been scheduled to deliver a speech at an event held by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in the British capital on Thursday.
The official’s public engagements were aimed at promoting Hong Kong’s role as a dispute resolution and deal-making hub.
Learning of Cheng’s presence in the city, some London-based activists, probably Hongkongers, apparently chose to confront the official, causing her distress.
In a statement issued by the government in early hours of Friday, Cheng denounced all forms of violence and radicalism, and deprivation of others’ legitimate rights in the pretext of pursuing some political ideals.
According to the statement, Cheng suffered some injury and “immediately made a report to the London Police and requested [them] to take the case seriously and put the culprits to justice.”
After learning about what happened, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor “expressed outrage” at the incident, saying the attack on Cheng “was barbaric and violated the principles of a civilised society”.
The protesters’ actions in London “should be strongly condemned”, Lam said, expressing hope that the British police “will follow up on the case thoroughly to bring the offenders to justice.”
Cheng will meet with Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the UK, before she returns to Hong Kong on Monday.
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