Crazed Activist attacks Labor Commissioner with Iron Bar

Taipei City Labor Commissioner Lai Hsiang-lin (賴香伶) was released from hospital this morning after a man barged into her office Wednesday afternoon, and hit her in the face with a concrete reinforcement bar.

Lai spent two nights in hospital and received 11 stitches to her left eyebrow after the attack. Doctors said that Lai fortunately did not suffer concussion or intracranial hemorrhage and that the wound should heal in around one week.

Lai’s attacker, Lee Ming-yen, described as a labor rights activist in media reports, left Taipei City Hall by a side door after the attack, took a U-bike to an MRT station, and traveled around New Taipei City on the Taipei Metro system, posting rants to his Facebook page from different locations around the city.

Lee’s Facebook rants included a claim that he would hold a press conference at 11:00am Thursday to expose corruption and illegal labor practices by Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation, the managers of the Taipei Metro.

Police tracked Lee by IP as he posted to Facebook, and eventually arrested the suspect at Xinpu MRT Station in Banciao District at around 3:00pm yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.

After an interrogation, Lee was handed over to the Taipei City Prosecutor’s office to face charges of assault and obstructing official duty.

The firebrand labor activist had previously been sentenced to serve two months in prison after being charged over a Facebook post earlier this year where he wrote: “Kill Ko Wen-je, kill judges, kill civil servants.”

During Lee’s court case, Lee stated that he would “be violent toward government officials if he was found guilty.”

According to reports including Liberty Times Network, Lee had claimed during his interrogation yesterday, that he was “a revolutionary” who was exposing to the public how labor was being squeezed by industry and officials.

During the interrogation Lee consistently denied that he had hit Lai, and insisted that it was the piece of rebar that had hit the commissioner. This is despite the fact that on Wednesday evening, he had posted a picture of the rebar on his Facebook page and proclaimed: “I hit the commissioner in the face.”

rebar used to attack official
Picture of a length of rebar with which Lee attacked the labor commissioner. From Lee’s Facebook page.
self portrait of Lee
Selfie posted by Lee while on the run on the Taipei Metro.
Lee with knife and Ko Wen-je
Lee had previously threatened to kill Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je, along with other officials.Picture: TVBS
Commissioner Lai and activist Lee
Taipei City Government Labor Department Commissioner Lai, left. Labor activist Lee, right. Picture EBC

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