Noted Chinese blogger and author Xu Lai was attacked yesterday after giving a talk in a Beijing bookshop.
According to the Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper, Xu was grabbed by two assailants and dragged into the toilets. Various sources cite the attackers as saying either “We’re here for revenge,” “You’ll know better than to offend people next time,” or “You brought this on yourself. You know why you’re doing this, don’t you?”
Xu Lai works as a journalist, but is primarily known for his blog Prostate in Flames, which touches on a number of sensitive subjects in modern Chinese culture. The blog was closed down by Chinese authorities, but Xu reopened it on another site.
Friends of Xu expressed their surprise at the attack, with one commentator, friend and fellow blogger Hecaitou saying on Twitter, “Xu Lai doesn’t have any private enemies.” But when speaking to the Southern Metropolitan Daily, he opined that Xu’s blog may have precipitated the attack, describing Xu as “a low-key sort of person who wouldn’t provoke anyone. However, there are many things on his blog that can touch a nerve and he has probably made enemies that way.”
Other commentators were more strident however, and one comment in Xu’s blog saying: “Comrades, netizens, such a despicable trick cannot stop the progress of Chinese people toward freedom and democracy.”
Xu was rushed to a local hospital following the attack and was given the all clear after an emergency operation.
Source: The Guardian