By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
HONG KONG (ANS – August 13, 2017) — Howard Lam, a Christian and member of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party, says that he was abducted and tortured by men believed to be Chinese Mainland security agents on August 10th.
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Lam says he was abducted, beaten and rendered unconscious by Mandarin-speaking men after receiving a phone call warning him not to send a signed photo of footballer Lionel Messi to Liu Xia, the widow of Nobel Laureate and activist Liu Xiaobo, who died in Chinese custody on July 13th.
During Lam’s abduction the perpetrators stapled the skin on his legs in the shape of crosses, telling him it was because he was a Christian. There were 21 staples in total.
Liu Xia was last seen at her husband’s funeral on July 15th, and her whereabouts are currently unknown.
At a press conference on August 11th, Lam said he believed the incident was a warning to him not to send anything to Liu Xia, and also a warning to others.
Benedict Rogers, CSW’s East Asia Team Leader, said, “This shocking incident is a grave violation of Mr Lam’s rights under international law and, if the perpetrators were indeed agents of the Chinese Communist Party in mainland China, it is also an extremely worrying sign of the increasing boldness of mainland law enforcement operating in Hong Kong. There appears to have been no legal basis for this abduction.
“As such, it is a severe violation of the principles of One Country, Two Systems and Hong Kong’s Basic Law. Furthermore, the symbolic use of Mr Lam’s religion in his alleged torture poses an alarming threat to freedom of religion or belief. We urge the Hong Kong authorities to launch a full and impartial investigation into the incident, and to guarantee the rights of all citizens, including the right to freedom from torture and freedom of religion or belief.”
Note: Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organization working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.
For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Senior Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.csw.org.uk.
Photo captions: 1) Pro-democracy activist Howard Lam, who claims he was abducted, blindfolded and beaten by mainland Chinese agents, shows his stapled thighs and chest injuries during a press conference in Hong Kong. (Photograph: AFP). 2) Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, in Beijing. (Photograph: AFP). 3) Dan Wooding reporting from Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 76, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 54 years. Dan is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He is also the author of some 45 books and has two US-based TV programs and also a weekly radio show. Dan’s most recent honor was a top humanitarian award at a film festival in Beverly Hills, California, for his long-standing reporting on persecuted Christians around the world.
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