Hong Kong student dies after fall during protest clash

Cheryl Sanders
November 8, 2019

He was found lying unconscious in a pool of blood inside a auto park that police had fired tear gas towards after protesters hurled objects from the building. Chow had been hospitalized with a severe brain injury since early Monday morning after he fell from a parking garage in the residential Tseung Kwan O neighborhood where police were attempting to disperse protesters.

Chow's death is expected to spark fresh protests and fuel anger and resentment against the police, who are already under huge pressure amid accusations of excessive force as the city grapples with its worst political crisis in decades.

Chow's case has been embraced by the protest movement, which is demanding Beijing loosen its control over the city and allow more democratic freedoms.

Notices circulated on social media prior to Chow's death said students planned a march on Friday at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Calls also emerged online for other memorial events Friday to mourn Chow in multiple locations including at the suburban garage where he fell. "Given the losses suffered by HK society in the past month, the gov must pay the price", he tweeted.

Police told reporters Tuesday that Chow was found unconscious after falling 13 feet from the third to the second story of the auto park early Monday morning between 12:45 and 1 a.m.

Xu said protesters in Hong Kong "intend to create a "chilling effect" by threatening and intimidating their candidates and their supporters", in order to "affect the election results of the district councils and realise their goal of seizing political power". The college was holding its graduation ceremony Friday morning, and university head Wei Shyy paused the proceedings to announce Chow's death and observe a moment of silence.

At the time of his fall, dozens of riot police were approaching, firing tear gas into the auto park and surrounding areas to clear away protesters.

Minutes earlier, television footage showed riot police firing tear gas at the building after objects were hurled down at the officers in the street when they chased off a mob.

The student union said they would hold another vigil in the evening while the university urged students to stay calm to "avoid further clashes and tragedy".

The protests, ignited by a now-scrapped extradition bill for people to be sent to mainland China for trial, have evolved into wider calls for democracy, posing the biggest challenge for Chinese President Xi Jinping since he took charge in 2012.

One of the key protest demands is an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality.

Other reports by iNewsToday