Published: Fri, November 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Hong Kong student who fell during weekend protests dies

Hong Kong student who fell during weekend protests dies

The Hong Kong government says a 22-year-old university student died on Friday morning after sustaining injuries while allegedly taking part in a pro-democracy protest.

A spokesman for the Hospital Authority confirmed on Friday (Nov 8) that he was certified dead at 8.09am.

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.

Minutes earlier, television footage showed riot police firing tear gas at the building after objects were hurled at the officers in the street. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24×7 and NDTV India.

A moment of silence for Chow was held during the university's second day of commencement ceremonies Friday and a flashmob broke out over lunchtime in the city's center.

Prominent youth activist Joshua Wong said Chow's death made protesters' demands for an investigation into police conduct more crucial than ever. "We will not leave anyone behind - what we start together, we finish together".

They have also denied interfering with rescuers treating the student, or blocking the ambulance that took him to hospital.

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.

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A graduation ceremony at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) was abruptly halted on Thursday after protesting students wearing masks chanted slogans as the national anthem was being played.

After the ceremony was cut short, hundreds of students gathered to mourn Chow's passing and condemn what they described as police brutality.

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".

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula, allowing it colonial freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland, including an independent judiciary and right to protest.

But public anger has been building for years over a belief that Beijing is eroding those freedoms, especially since President Xi Jinping came to power.

Since then, the protests have mushroomed into a wider rebellion and a demand for more democracy, including direct elections for Hong Kong leaders.

The Hong Kong protests, which have been drawing massive crowds since June following a contentious proposed extradition law, have mutated into a movement that seeks to improve the democratic mechanisms that govern the city and safeguard the region's partial autonomy from Beijing.

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