A group of reporters stand outside the intensive care unit of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong on November 8, 2019. A Hong Kong student who fell from a multi-storey car park while police and protesters were clashing last weekend has died, hospital officials said Friday, in a development likely to raise tensions after months of violent protests in the city.
AFP/Philip Fong
Hong Kong student who fell during protest clashes dies
(Agence France-Presse) - November 8, 2019 - 1:42pm

HONG KONG, China — A Hong Kong student who fell from a car park while police and protesters were clashing last weekend has died, hospital officials said Friday, in a development likely to further escalate tensions after months of violent rallies in the city.

Alex Chow, a 22-year-old computer science undergraduate, was certified dead at 8.09am on Friday, Queen Elizabeth Hospital said. 

Chow was taken to hospital in an unconscious state in the early hours of Monday morning following late-night clashes between police and protesters.

He was 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.

The precise chain of events leading to Chow's fall are unclear and disputed, but he has been embraced by the five-month-old protest movement and his death could trigger renewed clashes as the city braces for another weekend of rallies.

Chow was a student at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. 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.

Fellow students had been holding a vigil round the clock for Chow as doctors battled to save his life. Sources told AFP doctors had performed two surgeries in a bid to reduce swelling in his brain.

Protesters have alleged that Chow fell because he was forced to climb onto the ledge of the multi-storey car park to escape multiple tear gas rounds fired into the building by police.

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.

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

Since June, Hong Kong has been shaken by large-scale and increasingly violent protests calling for greater democratic freedoms and police accountability.

China has run the city under a special "one country, two systems" model, allowing Hong Kong liberties not seen on the mainland, since its handover from the British in 1997.

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

Protesters have issued a list of demands, including fully free elections to choose the city's leader and an investigation into alleged abuses by police.

HONG KONG HONG KONG PROTESTS
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: February 13, 2020 - 7:08pm

Millions march in Hong Kong in a powerful rebuke of an extradition law feared to expose them to China's capricious justice system.

February 13, 2020 - 7:08pm

China appoints a senior official known for a hardline crackdown on Christians to head its main policy-making body for Hong Kong, following months of pro-democracy protests in the semi-autonomous city.

The reshuffle comes after months of political unrest -- the starkest challenge to Beijing since the former British colony was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Senior Beijing official Xia Baolong, currently secretary-general at the national committee of China's top political advisory body, was promoted to director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council. — AFP

January 13, 2020 - 6:06am

Human Rights Watch chief Kenneth Roth says he had been denied entry into Hong Kong, where he had arrived to launch the watchdog's annual report after months of civil unrest in the city.

Hong Kong has been battered by nearly seven months of occasionally violent protests, its biggest political crisis in decades. Millions have turned out on the streets of the semi-autonomous financial hub to demand greater democratic freedoms.

Roth was to give a press conference on Wednesday to unveil his organisation's latest global survey, which accuses China of prosecuting "an intensive attack" on international human rights agencies.

— AFP

January 10, 2020 - 1:55pm

Nearly one in three adults in Hong Kong reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder during months of often violent social unrest in the city, according to a study published in The Lancet medical journal Friday.

And around one in 10 had symptoms of probable depression, figures comparable to those seen in areas of armed conflict or following terrorist attacks, the decade-long study led by researchers from the University of Hong Kong found.

Prevalence of PTSD symptoms was six times higher than after the last major pro-democracy "Occupy" protests in 2014, rising from about five percent in March 2015 to almost 32%  in September-November 2019.

The increase corresponds to an additional 1·9 million adults with PTSD symptoms in the city of 7.4 million.

Up to 11% of adults reported symptoms of depression, from around two percent before the Occupy protests, and 6.5% in 2017, the study estimated. — AFP

January 10, 2020 - 12:42pm

Nearly one in three adults in Hong Kong reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder during months of often violent social unrest in the city, according to a study published in The Lancet medical journal Friday.

And around one in 10 had symptoms of probable depression, figures comparable to those seen in areas of armed conflict or following terrorist attacks, the decade-long study led by researchers from the University of Hong Kong found.

Prevalence of PTSD symptoms was six times higher than after the last major pro-democracy "Occupy" protests in 2014, rising from about five percent in March 2015 to almost 32 percent in September-November 2019. — AFP

January 6, 2020 - 6:40pm

Beijing's new top envoy to Hong Kong said he hoped the protest ravaged city would "return to the right path" as he took up his post on Monday.

Luo Huining replaced Wang Zhimin as head of Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong — the most significant personnel change by China since violent pro-democracy protests erupted in the city nearly seven months ago.

The 65-year-old Luo delivered a short statement to reporters in Mandarin  not the city's lingua franca Cantonese. 

He gave little clue as to whether Beijing's approach towards the city would change as it convulses with popular anger against mainland rule.

"In the past six months, Hong Kong's situation has made everybody's heart wrench. Everyone earnestly hopes that Hong Kong can return to the right path," Luo said, declining to take questions from reporters. — AFP

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