“Shame On You!” Residents in Fortress Hill strongly post sticky notes to condemn the brutal attack on Global Times website reporter at Hong Kong airport on Tuesday night by a group of rioters. Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT

 The so-called apology from Hong Kong protesters for brutally injuring a reporter and tourist from the mainland at Hong Kong airport was rejected fiercely by politicians, scholars and mainlanders as a hypocritical move that showed no signs of remorse.

The illegal and violent behavior at Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday night sparked wide condemnation and criticism from authorities and the public. 

Fu Guohao, a reporter from the Global Times website, who was brutally attacked by rioters while performing reporting tasks, is being treated at hospital. 

Facing the strong backlash, some protesters began posting statements on overseas social media, saying they were sorry and the move was made as they were “too scared.”

Protesters wearing masks held banners at the airport on Wednesday which read “We are desperate and we made imperfect decisions. Please accept our apology,” according to media reports. 

The statement was slammed as a hypocritical action to win support from Hong Kong society, which saw an increasing number of people standing up to denounce the violence of radical protesters. 

“You mean you are ‘too scared’ so that you confined, hit and insulted the reporter in groups? And now you want to play the victim after you told government officials to die, attacked police with lethal weapons and paralyzed the operation of social organizations,” posted one user of China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo platform, calling the statement a “masterpiece” of hypocrisy. 

“I don’t understand the point of their so-called apology. What they should do is to end the farce and stop spreading conflicts,” a student from the University of Hong Kong told the Global Times. 

The Hong Kong police said Wednesday that they had arrested five people involved in unlawful assembly at the airport Tuesday night, during which two residents from the mainland were assaulted and unlawfully detained. The arrested include two suspected of assaulting police and possessing offensive weapons.

Shen Yi, a professor at the school of international relations and public affairs in Fudan University, Shanghai, said the statement is “more of a hypocritical move to redeem the image of the egoist than an apology.”

Why are the attackers not apologizing and why are the so-called apologies written in English and posted on overseas social media, instead of in Chinese, if they are really sorry about the two mainlanders they attacked and insulted, Shen said. 

The statement only shows their hypocrisy, dishonest and craftiness, said Shen, calling them the “stupid generation.”

“If they are really sorry for their behaviors, they should turn themselves in to the police and take legal responsibility,” said Victor Chan, 33, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Young Commentators. 

Their damage to travelers, the airport and Hong Kong’s international image could not be recovered by only a simple apology, said Chan.

Hong Kong is the victim of the rioters’ self-defeating behaviors and it’s time for the Hong Kong government and police to take actions, in addition to pledges, to defend the future of the city, said Shen. 

Analysts noted that the apology could not whitewash the fact that the protesters’ extremely violent moves at the airport were criminal actions, nor should it earn any leniency from judicial authorities as the motivation for the apology is being questioned by many. 

Radical protesters are being blamed by other anti-government protesters not for injuries to normal people but for their damage to the reputation of the so-called peaceful and rational demonstrations. 

Frontline radical protesters are now jeopardizing the overall image of Hong Kong protesters due to the escalated violence, some protesters posted on LIHKG and Telegram social networks. 

More Hongkongers are unlikely to support them if the violence continues spreading, they said.