TAIPEI (CNA) — Taipei police arrested two suspects allegedly responsible for spraying red paint on Hong Kong singer- activist Denise Ho (何韻詩) while she was being interviewed by reporters before a pro-Hong Kong democratic movement rally that began in downtown Taipei Sunday.
The rally, organized by a number of Taiwanese civil groups to show support for the months-long protest in Hong Kong, was scheduled to be held from 3 p.m.-8:30 p.m. around the Legislative Yuan.
Before the rally kicked off, Ho, who was set to take part in the event, was being interviewed by reporters when a masked man came from behind and sprained red paint on her.
Ho was left covered in red paint on her hair and her clothes.
The suspect was immediately arrested when he tried to flee the scene following the incident. He was identified as a 40-year-old surnamed Hu (胡).
Another suspect, an alleged accomplice of Hu, was also arrested at the scene, according to Taipei police. The two were being questioned to clarify the reason for their actions, the police said.
Following the incident, Ho told reporters that similar episodes happen every day in Hong Kong and that pro-democracy activists like herself face similar harassment and threats on a regular basis.
“People in Hong Kong won’t be intimidated by such acts,” she stressed.
Asked to comment, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told reporters that as a rule-of-law society, Taiwan can allow different views, but cannot tolerate such violent behavior.
The democratic movement in Hong Kong began in late June in opposition to a proposed bill that would have allowed the extradition of criminal suspects to China for trial.
Since June, several protests have been held against the proposed bill in Hong Kong that led to its withdrawal.
More recently, however, as Beijing and the Hong Kong authorities have refused to budge on any more of the protesters’ demands, the protests have morphed into a wider movement calling for democratic reforms in the special administrative region of China.
By Huang Li-yun, Shen Peng-ta and Joseph Yeh