China’s state-run CCTV journalist, Kong Linlin, was arrested Sunday in the United Kingdom after she “slapped” Enoch Lieu, a volunteer for an event hosted by London based “Hong Kong Watch” and the “Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission”. The event focused on China’s continued suppression of Hong Kong’s autonomy and erosion of human rights. It was when Benedict Rogers, the founder of Hong Kong Watch started speaking the melee broke out. Rogers, who was denied entry into Hong Kong last year, called for China to honor Hong Kong’s autonomy. “It is therefore in all our interests for both China and Britain to honor our commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and ensure that ‘one country, two systems’ is upheld,” Rogers said.
That’s when Linlin got up from her chair and shouted, “You are a liar. You are anti-China. You want to separate China. And you are not even Chinese. The rest are all traitors.”
Enoch Lieu, a volunteer, asked her to leave the premises and that’s when he got slapped in the face by Linlin. Lieu recalls the incident on his Twitter Feed.
The reporter continued her shouting and whilst I was trying to escort her out, she accused me of trying to silence her. Then I said no miss you have to go. All of a sudden, she slapped me in my face #cpc18 5/8
— Enoch Lieu (@enochcafe) September 30, 2018
Hong Kong Watch has posted a video of the incident after Lieu got slapped in the face. In the video Lieu continues to ask her to leave, while some members of the audience surround Linlin. Linlin slaps him in the arm and Lieu responds by saying, “If you hit me again I will call the police.”
“You have no right. You are Democratic in the UK. I’m a journalist here,” she fires back while a man is holding her arms.
The argument continues with Linlin saying, “Leave me alone…Shame on you…I have right to protest…This is democratic of UK.” An unidentified man continues to hold her until security comes to take her away. While she is being escorted out Lieu asks Linlin to see her press badge. Linlin refuses and grabs her badge while screaming, “you have no right.”
Video: UK Conservative Party member 'assaulted by Chinese state TV reporter' during @hk_watch event at conference.
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) October 1, 2018
Linlin was arrested by West Midlands police for assault and has since been released.
London’s Chinese Embassy has released a statement declaring that Linlin was assaulted first and demanded an apology reports SCMP. “In a country that boasts freedom of speech, it is puzzling that the Chinese journalist should encounter obstruction in such a way and even assault at the fringe event when she simply raised a question and expressed her opinions. This is completely unacceptable.” The statement continues, “The organizer of the fringe event should apologise to the Chinese journalist.”