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A student of a Hong Kong university who fell during protests at the weekend died early on Friday morning, hospital authorities said, setting the stage for a fresh wave of demonstrations in the self-governing territory in the coming weekend.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology students’ union said the man was a 22-year-old surnamed Chow who was a two-year undergraduate in the computer science department. In some reports, he was identified as Alex Chow and Chow Tsz-lok.
The South China Morning Post reported that he died of cardiac arrest after being in a coma since early Monday morning.
Chow’s case has been embraced by the protest movement, which has called for city-wide vigils in his honour.
The student was believed to have fallen in the early hours of Monday in the New Territories district of Tseung Kwan O, while police were trying to disperse the protesters with rounds of tear gas.
Chow was later found lying unconscious in a pool of blood inside a car park that police had fired tear gas into after protesters hurled objects from the building.
Protesters claimed that by firing the tear gas, police also delayed the deployment of emergency medical services to the victim.
Police officials acknowledge that tear gas had been used to disperse protesters near the car park, but say there was only a small amount of gas in the air when emergency responders found Chow.
The precise circumstances of how Chow came to be injured are unclear but he has been embraced by the five-month-old protest movement.
The protesters are blaming police, saying they had failed to adhere to tear gas guidelines.
Clarke added that as Friday also marks as a day of graduation for a number of students at the University of Hong Kong’s science and technology campus, students have joined a memorial to paid tribute to the 22-year-old.
“The university has… asked for students and these protesters to show restraint, to show peace and to avoid conflict but at the moment the protesters have marched up and are now vandalising and graffitiing some of the operations on this campus that are affiliated with the mainland Chinese companies,” Clarke said.
In a social media post, pro-democracy leader Joshua Wong said Hong Kong residents “mourn the loss of the freedom fighter in HK.”
“We will not leave anyone behind – what we start together, we finish together. Given the losses suffered by HK society in the past month, the gov must pay the price.”
UNN News Agency. All Right Resered. 2018.