Published: Fri, November 08, 2019

Hong Kong student's death triggers fresh outrage

Hong Kong student's death triggers fresh outrage

A Hong Kong student has died after falling during protests on Monday - sparking impromptu protests and vigils from pro-democracy activists.

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

On Thursday, Chow's classmates at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), decried the police as they disrupted a graduation ceremony and chanted protest slogans.

The death comes after five months of historic unrest in the region's main financial hub.

Protesters have thrown petrol bombs and vandalised banks, stores and metro stations, while police have fired rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons and, in some cases, live ammunition in scenes of chaos.

"Today we mourn the loss of the freedom fighter in HK", Joshua Wong, a pro-democracy campaigner, said on Twitter.

Chow Tsz-lok, 22, an undergraduate at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (UST), died of injuries he suffered early on Monday when he fell from the third to the second floor of a vehicle park during a police dispersal operation.

University president Wei Shyy briefly paused the school's graduation ceremony to announce Mr Chow's death and observe a moment of silence.

Lai added that the university would hold a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m., in addition to an evening memorial at the vehicle park where Chow fell. Sources told AFP doctors had performed two surgeries in a bid to reduce swelling in his brain.

Chow fell from a ledge of the multi-storey vehicle park in Tseung Kwan O, a residential area where clashes between protesters and police have occurred regularly.

Police officials acknowledge that tear gas had been used to disperse protesters near the auto park, but say there was only a small amount of gas in the air when emergency responders found Chow.

Police said they used tear gas to disperse protesters near the site but denied any wrongdoing, saying their actions had been justified.

Students hold images of Chow Tsz-Lok, 22, a university student who fell during protests at the weekend and died early on Friday morning, during a ceremony to pay tribute to him at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, in Hong Kong.

The worldwide finance hub has been shaken by five months of huge and increasingly violent protests calling for greater democratic freedoms and police accountability.

The long-running protests were triggered by a now-shelved extradition bill to mainland China, but have extended todemands for direct elections and an independent investigation into alleged police brutality.

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