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2 men arrested in S. Taiwan for paint attack on Hong Kong bookseller

Police nab 2 men in Kaohsiung for splashing paint on Causeway Bay Books founder, 3rd accomplice at large

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Lam holding up shirt stained with red paint. 

Lam holding up shirt stained with red paint.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Police arrested two suspects on Wednesday (April 21) in Kaohsiung for allegedly splashing red paint on Hong Kong's Causeway Bay Books (銅鑼灣書店) founder Lam Wing-kee (林榮基) the previous day.

Police arrested a 28-year-old man surnamed Tseng (曾) and another man surnamed Cheng (鄭) in Kaohsiung early Wednesday morning, while Tseng's 27-year-old brother is still at large, reported Liberty Times. Police said the elder Tseng has no criminal record, but Cheng has a criminal record for firearms violations.

On Tuesday morning, from 8:45 a.m. to 9 a.m., the three suspects followed Lam to a breakfast shop near Zhongshan North Road, in Taipei. One of the assailants, dressed in black sportswear, splashed a full can of red paint on Lam as he was sitting and drinking coffee.

Lam's hair, chest, arms, and legs were covered in red paint. After assaulting Lam, two other suspects, said to be lookouts, joined the man clad in black to flee to a nearby alley, before hopping into a taxi and fleeing Taiwan's capital city to Kaohsiung, reported UDN.

2 men arrested in S. Taiwan for paint attack on Hong Kong bookseller
Lam Wim-kee is interviewed after assault. (CNA photo)

After reviewing surveillance footage, police were able to identify the three suspects and track their movements. The Criminal Investigation Division of the Taipei City Police Department and the Zhongshan Precinct of the Taipei City Police Department formed a task force to start an investigation into the assault.

Causeway Bay Books famously sold political books that were banned in communist China. However, from October to December in 2015, five of the bookstore's shareholders and employees, including Lam, disappeared and were later found to be in the custody of Chinese authorities, with some still under detention.

In April 2019, Lam decided to open a Taiwan branch of the Causeway Bookstore. However, as soon as the news came out, another bookstore in New Taipei registered the trademark for the name in Taiwan.

In response, Lam decided to change the name of the bookstore to "Taiwan Causeway Bay Books" (台灣銅鑼灣書店). He plans to open the store in Taipei on Saturday (April 25).

2 men arrested in S. Taiwan for paint attack on Hong Kong bookseller
Scene of paint attack on Lam. (CNA photo)

2 men arrested in S. Taiwan for paint attack on Hong Kong bookseller
The suspect surnamed Cheng. (CNA photo)

2 men arrested in S. Taiwan for paint attack on Hong Kong bookseller
The suspect surnamed Tseng. (CNA photo)