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Politics

Beijing's hand suspected in kidnapping of Hong Kong democrat

Man said he was questioned, abused over photo of Messi for Liu Xiaobo

HONG KONG -- A Democratic Party member here was abducted and violently interrogated by a group of Mandarin-speaking men, the pro-democracy party said Friday.

Howard Lam Tsz-kin told reporters that he was whisked away by car on a busy Kowloon street Thursday.

He was asked whether he knew Liu Xia, the widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. The Chinese dissident died of cancer last month while in state custody.

Lam had a signed photograph of Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi for Liu Xiaobo, said to have been a fan of the Barcelona player. Lam had received a phone call three days earlier warning him not to give Liu Xia the photo, he said.

Hong Kong authorities launched an investigation on suspicion of involvement by mainland security.

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