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Hong Kong politician 'stapled' by Chinese agents

Hong Kong politician 'stapled' by Chinese agents
From Al Jazeera - August 11, 2017

A prominent member of Hong Kong's Democratic Party said he was beaten and "stapled" by Chinese agents in Hong Kong before being dumped on a remote beach.

Howard Lam, a key pro-democracy activist in the former British colony, told reporters on Friday he was confronted by men speaking Mandarin - spoken in Beijing but not widely in Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong - outside a sports store.

Lam said the men took him away, interrogating him and stapling his skin 21 times for being "unpatriotic" in a nine-hour ordeal.

WATCH: What is driving Hong Kong-China tensions?

He was knocked out and eventually found himself dumped on a beach in Hong Kong's remote Sai Kung district.

Hong Kong's police commissioner, Lau Wai-chung, told media he was taking Lam's accusations seriously and they were attaching great importance to investigating the case. The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of China's State Council were not immediately available for comment.

The alleged attack comes as hostility to Beijing has spiralled in Hong Kong and the battle for full democracy has become a defining issue for the city of 7.3 million people.

Hong Kong became a "special administrative region" of China in 1997 and has been governed under a "one country, two systems" formula that guarantees a range of freedoms not enjoyed in China, including a direct vote for half of the 70-seat legislative assembly.

But activists say those freedoms have come under threat with perceived meddling by Communist Party rulers in Beijing.

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