More than 100 of Hong Kong residents came to the hospital on Wednesday, where a reporter assaulted by violent protesters last night at the Hong Kong airport received treatment, voicing their support for his bravery and strong opposition to escalating violence in Hong Kong.
Fu Guohao, a journalist from Global Times, a Beijing-based newspaper, was seized by a group of masked protesters when covering the situation at the airport on Tuesday night. He had been assaulted and detained before finally rescued by police as protesters flooding the airport refused to let him and first-aid personnel go.
During demonstration at the Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday, radicals intensified their sit-in to massive blockades, causing chaos at one of the world's busiest airport. Most outbound flights were canceled as the airport terminal was occupied and travelers were prevented from departing. Many had been stranded for days.
A video clip showed Fu was besieged by a large group of protesters and later he was tied with his hands behind his head, slumped down on a luggage trolly and closely surrounded by black-clad crowd.
"I support Hong Kong police. Now you can beat me," he said told the crowd.
The video clip quickly went viral on the internet and drew condemnation of violence by the radicals.
"He spoke out what Hong Kong people want to say. We remained silent for more than two months. People in Hong Kong need peaceful and stable lives, and need a better Hong Kong," Raymond Lam said.
Lam, 35, brought with Fu fruits and moon cakes, the signature traditional desserts for the approaching Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival which falls on Sept. 13 this year.
He asked for a leave from his boss and took a one-and-half hour ride to the Princess Margaret Hospital, a general hospital in south Kwai Chung, along with several friends.
"The gifts carry my wish that he can recover soon, and I also want to tell him he has support of so many Hong Kong people," Lam said. "Protesters stepped across the line, and ordinary people would not do that."
Lam said what the rioters did to Fu last night has trampled all over the bottom line of civilization and even embodied elements of terrorism.
A citizen surnamed Lee wore a T-shirt printed with Fu's words and held a bouquet for him. "I think he is a hero. I am here to show support and I oppose recent violent incidents caused by some young protesters in the name of freedom and democracy."
Many Hong Kong citizens gathered outside the lobby of the hospital and some held banners, calling for measures to punish attackers, oppose violence and safeguard rule of law.
"I think he is a real man and I want to cheer him on," said Dicky Yip said.
"We, all Chinese people, should have the backbone like him," said the 46-year-old man.
Working as a tourist guide for years, Yip said the escalating violence by the radical protesters have cast a spell on Hong Kong's tourism industry as he has received no group tourists at all since July.
"The radical protesters are ignoring our livelihood. I hope the violence can be ended as soon as possible, giving us back a prosperous and beautiful Hong Kong," he said.
Fu was discharged from the hospital at Wednesday noon and still looked pale and weak, with obvious swelling and bruise on the face of the 28-year-old.
"I obeyed all the requirements for citizens in Hong Kong and did not do anything illegal or disputable," Fu said during a brief interview at the hospital, with a bunch of flowers, the gift from visitors, in his hand.
"I should not be treated violently," he said.
"When I said I love Hong Kong at the airport. It was natural response and I meant it," he added.
Similar to Fu, another traveler was also held and assaulted by protesters at the airport. The man who fell unconscious was sent to hospital at wee hours Wednesday.
A spokesperson of the government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Wednesday severely condemned these violent acts, saying they were outrageous and had overstepped the bottom line of a civilized society.
Hong Kong police will take relentless enforcement action to bring the perpetrators to justice, the spokesperson added.