Police in Kaohsiung yesterday arrested three men suspected of being involved in an attack on a Hong Kong bookseller in Taipei the previous day.
Lam Wing-kei (林榮基), a co-owner of Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay Books (銅鑼灣書店), who fled to Taiwan over fear of Chinese persecution, had red paint thrown on him on Tuesday morning by a man at a coffee shop in Taipei’s Zhongshan District (中山), just as his new bookshop in the city is set to open on Saturday.
The man fled the scene on foot, said Lam, who immediately notified the police, adding that he believed the attack was related to the new bookstore’s opening.
Early yesterday, police arrested two suspects — one man, 27, who allegedly carried out the attack, and another, 51, who is believed to have given the order. A third suspect was apprehended later in the day.
The three men, all residents of Kaohsiung, traveled to Taipei on Monday, the day before the attack, leading the police to think it was premeditated.
The incident occurred one day after Lam received a letter from a lawyer representing a bookstore in New Taipei City.
The firm accused Lam of registering a similar name to compete unfairly in the same line of business, while also infringing on its trademark, he said on Monday.
“I didn’t expect them to register and open another fake store in Taiwan,” he said, implying that the competitor is a front for Chinese authorities.
The Department of Commerce’s business registry Web site showed that the New Taipei City store is represented by a man named Chiang Tung-chan (蔣東展) and has a capital investment of NT$50,000.
The company, which does not have an English name, was registered on March 3 in Jhonghe District (中和), the registry showed.
Lam’s store was officially registered on March 31, with the English name “Causeway Bay Books Ltd,” and a Chinese name that is almost identical to the one in New Taipei City, except that it has the characters “Zhongshan” (中山) at the front of the registered name.
Lam said that his lawyer is dealing with the matter, and that he still plans to open his store in Taipei on Saturday.
Lam was one of five shareholders and staff at Causeway Bay Books in Hong Kong, which sold gossip-filled books about China’s leaders.
He disappeared into Chinese custody at the end of 2015, and was released on bail and allowed to return to Hong Kong in June 2016 to retrieve a hard drive listing the bookstore’s customers.
Instead, he jumped bail and went public.
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