Hong Kong Protests Escalate After Christian Student Dies After Falling from Parking Garage During Clashes With Police

Protests have escalated in Hong Kong after a Christian student died from injuries he sustained after falling from a parking garage where police officers clashed with protesters last week amid violent anti-government demonstrations.

“Protesters in Hong Kong have added to their arsenal javelins and bows and arrows, in addition to bricks and petrol bombs as they clash with police armed with tear gas, water cannon, and live bullets, in violent standoffs now spilling into university campuses,” The U.K. Telegraph reports. Police said some protesters have “shot arrows dipped in gasoline and lit on fire,” and have even used “electric saws” to target their officers.

On Wednesday, police used a boat to evacuate students from mainland China who were studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which is now barricaded by protesters and has been the scene of violent clashes.

Last week, 22-year-old Chow Tsz-lok, a second-year computer science undergraduate at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, died from his injuries after he fell from the third floor to the second floor of a car park in Tseung Kwan O on Nov. 4 while police carried out a dispersal operation nearby with rounds of tear gas fire, The South China Morning Post reports.

In response to his death, “demonstrators trashed a campus branch of Starbucks and vandalized the porch of the chancellor as pressure built on the university to condemn police accused of chasing the student before he fell to his death,” The U.K. Telegraph reported.

Doctors performed two operations at Queen Elizabeth Hospital to stop the swelling in his head. However, Chow succumbed to cardiac arrest and died on Nov. 8.

Friends described Chow as a Christian who was known in his social circle for his passion for sports and mathematics, as well as his willingness to help others in school. Numerous vigils were held across the city in honor of Chow, with a moment of silence to commemorate the late student.

Chow was participating in anti-government demonstrations triggered by a now-withdrawn extradition bill. The proposed bill was precipitated by the murder of a pregnant teenager by her boyfriend during a vacation in Taiwan. Because the Hong Kong government does not have an extradition treaty with Taiwan, legislation was proposed that would have allowed the extradition of suspects from the city to other countries, including mainland China.

Now, the protests also include calls for greater democratic freedoms and police accountability in Hong Kong.

Thousands of people, including police officers, have been injured since the protests began in June. This week, Hong Kong police shot a pro-democracy protester, and a man doused another man in liquid and set him on fire.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett