Hong Kong Security Force Warns Against Mourning Police Attacker
(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong’s national security police took over the investigation into the stabbing of a policeman and cautioned citizens from mourning the attacker’s death, calling the incident a domestic terrorist attack on the 24th anniversary of the former British colony’s return to Chinese rule.
The National Security Department, which investigates offenses that endanger national security, is now probing the July 1 incident that occurred on a busy street in one of the city’s most popular shopping districts. The attacker, an unnamed 50-year-old man who local media said worked for a soy-milk maker, used a knife to wound a male police officer from behind before turning it on himself, an attack caught on video.
The case has put a spotlight on the growing tensions between local residents and the police, which has been criticized for employing excessive force in pro-democracy protests that roiled the city before the pandemic. Police and government officials have condemned the attack as well as online comments that they say glorify and mourn the perpetrator as a hero.
“Advocating members of the public to mourn for the attacker is no different from supporting terrorism,” according to a statement on Sunday. “It will incite further hatred, divide the society and eventually breach social order and endanger public safety, threatening every one in Hong Kong.”
The security department said it will investigate whether the attacker had any accomplices or whether he was incited by others to commit the crime, warning that the internet is not “beyond the law.”
Soy-milk producer Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd. pledged to support the investigation after the attacker was reported by local media to be a staff member and an internal memo extended condolences to his family, which the company said was sent without its approval.
The company has been subject to an online boycott by consumers in China, news website HK01 reported.
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