Chinese visitor, who was filmed tearing down a display, known as Lennon Wall, set up at National Taiwan University (NTU) for people to share their views on the Hong Kong protests, was arrested and will be deported back to China on a charge of vandalism. Taiwanese authorities announces that the tourist will also be denied entry to the country for 5 years.
An NTU student captured the 30-year-old male suspect, Li, on video tearing posters and messages from a Lennon Wall on school grounds. His female Chinese companion looked on but was not arrested since she had not participated in the defacement.
On its Facebook page on Monday afternoon, the National Taiwan University Student Association (NTUSA) posted a video showing a Chinese man tearing down signs on a Lennon Wall on the college’s campus. In the description, NTUSA wrote that at 10:45 a.m. that morning, a male Chinese tourist was seen ripping off signs from a Lennon Wall set up by the student organization at the First Student Activity Center while a female Chinese companion looked on.
Police received a report of the incident and immediately dispatched officers to search for the suspect. They soon found the suspect, a 30-year-old surnamed Li, and took him into custody.
According to the Da’an Precinct of the Taipei Police Department, Li said he acted on impulse when he came across the pro-Hong Kong posters while touring the campus. The police said on Tuesday that security footage showed Li headed directly to the Lennon Wall, making it likely he had planned the act.
NTU said the Lennon Wall is set up for people to share their views on the Hong Kong protests. Although the campus is a haven for freedom of speech, Li’s behavior violated others’ right to express themselves freely.
Prior to the incident, similar acts of vandalism also occurred at National Tsing Hua University, National Taiwan University of Arts, and National Sun Yat-sen University.