Hong Kong official hurt after being targeted by protesters in London

By Aimee Lewis, Stella Ko and Nada Bashir, CNN

London (CNN)Hong Kong’s Secretary of Justice Teresa Cheng was injured Thursday after an altercation with protesters in London.

According to London Metropolitan Police, a woman was taken to hospital by ambulance after “suffering an injury to her arm.” The force told CNN it was investigating an alleged assault and “no arrests had been made at this stage.”
A video on social media appears to show Cheng surrounded by a crowd as she was walking to a lecture at London’s Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). It then shows her suddenly on the ground.

The incident comes amid renewed protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese city, which has been gripped by almost six months of anti-government protests originally sparked by an extradition bill with China. As Justice Secretary, Cheng was one of several senior officials, along with Chief Executive Carrie Lam, closely linked to the now-shelved bill.
According to Hong Kong public broadcaster RTHK, Cheng was in the UK “on a trip to promote Hong Kong as a venue for dispute resolution.”
In a statement, Lam “expressed outrage at the attack” on Cheng, saying it was “barbaric and violated the principles of a civilized society.”
The Chinese Embassy in London claimed Cheng was “besieged and attacked by dozens of anti-China and pro-independence activists.”

In a statement, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) — of which Cheng is a former President — said Cheng was “invited as the first woman and past President to deliver the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators’ prestigious Alexander Lecture at CIArb’s building in London.”
The institute said that while Cheng was entering the building she “was assaulted by a crowd,” adding that “CIArb is committed to peacefully resolving conflict and deplores the use of violence, particularly to a guest to the United Kingdom.”
In a statement, the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth Office said it was “very concerned” and in contact with the Chinese Embassy and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.
Protests continued throughout the day in Hong Kong Friday, with thousands of office workers joining lunchtime demonstrations. This week has seen a renewed spate of violent unrest in recent days, following the death of a 22-year-old student who fell near the scene of demonstrations last Friday. Protesters have clashed with riot police at multiple locations, paralyzing much of the territory and forcing citywide school cancellations.

Feautred photo: ITV.com